Tonbridge MP tells government to put hold on new Kent rail service franchise plans after West Coast Richard Branson fiasco
By kentsussex | Thursday, October 04, 2012, 06:55
Tonbridge MP Sir John Stanley has urged the government to pause the awarding of a new contract to run Kent's rail services because of the West Coast franchise fiasco.
He said he was worried that the events surrounding that contract meant the arrangements for awarding other franchises could lead to similar flaws in the process for Kent.
But, Kent Online reports, the Department for Transport said the timescale for awarding a new contract to run Kent's railways would be unaffected.
Consultation on the new integrated franchise for services across the county ended last week.
Sir John said: "I do not want the Kent franchise to go out to tender until I am satisfied that the flaws in the existing franchise system are eliminated.
"The last thing we want is an operator coming forward with a contract that will end up costing taxpayers an even greater amount of money."
Bidders for the franchise operated currently by Southeastern are due to
be shortlisted next May.
The Kent franchise will run from April 2014 until September 2020 and could see some far-reaching changes to some of the 2,058 train services a day and its 175 stations.