Department for Transport announces integrated Kent franchise

Publisher:Department for Transport
Publication type:Invitation to tender
Published date: 30 January 2006
Mode/topic:Rail, Rail interoperability

For immediate release: 07.00 Wednesday November 30th 2005

Stock Market statement

The Department for Transport today announced that Govia has been awarded the contract to run the Integrated Kent franchise (IKF) from 01 April 2006.

The IKF will include routes on the national rail network currently operated by South Eastern Trains throughout Kent, parts of East Sussex and South East London.

It will also include new high speed commuter services from St Pancras making use of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) from 2009.

The franchise contract is for 8 years with the final 2 years dependent on service performance achieving preset targets. The total subsidy for IKF is £585m over 8 years.

The franchise area has already benefited from almost £700 million in investment on new rolling stock and improved infrastructure. £250 million will be invested on new high speed trains for CTRL.

Given investment in the region the new operator will increase fares by 3% above inflation from January 2007 for five years to ensure there is a fair balance in cost between the taxpayer and fare paying passenger.

Govia has also committed to:

  • Invest around £76 million in passenger and staff facilities.
  • Oversee the construction of two depots in East Kent to maintain the new and existing fleet of trains.
  • Improve performance with all day PPM train performance of 91.6% by March 2010 and 93.74% by March 2014.
  • Provide services which are additional to the base line DfT asked for in the ITT, including a strengthened half-hourly service to Beckenham Junction to Victoria, an additional peak service between Faversham and Cannon Street, two additional peak trains between Ashford and Charing Cross and some extra mid-evening and late evening trains to suburban and Kent destinations from London.
  • Run services to Dover if safety concerns at the Shakespeare Tunnel can be overcome.

Notes to Editors:

  • The incumbent operator is South Eastern Trains (SET), a subsidiary of the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA). Following the termination of the Connex South Eastern Franchise on 9 November 2003 SET has run services across the region.
  • The four parties invited to bid for IKF were South Eastern Railways Ltd (a joint venture between DSB International and Stagecoach Group); First Kent Integrated Railways Ltd (FirstGroup plc); Great South Eastern Railway Limited (a joint venture between GNER Holdings and MTR Corporation) and London & South Eastern Railway Ltd (a joint venture between Go-Ahead Group and Keolis).
  • The total subsidy for IKF is £585m over 8 years. Year by Year values will be published shortly, once all the bidders who bid for IKF have been de-briefed. We anticipate publication of the annual subsidy amounts in mid-December.
  • On 27 October 2004, the secretary of state for Transport announced Hitachi as the Preferred Manufacturer to build new high speed trains to operate on the IFT. The order is expected to be for 28 6-carriage trains to be introduced in 2009.
  • It is appropriate for the new franchisee to have the opportunity to review proposals on changes to ticket office hours on the SET network. It is expected that discussions amongst interested parties will take place in due course.
  • For further information, please contact the Department for Transport press office on 020 7944 3108.