Department for Transport
- the government promised passengers across Yorkshire and the Humber a world class rail service that would make the Northern Powerhouse a reality today that is being delivered as new contracts for Northern and TransPennine Express franchises are awarded
- government announces intention to award Northern franchise to Arriva Rail North Limited, and TransPennine Express franchise to First Trans Pennine Express Limited
- together, these operators will oversee a massive 1.2 billion boost to rail services across the north with 500 brand-new modern carriages, room for 40,000 more passengers, thousands more services and a host of improvements to deliver a modern, 21st century passenger experience
- improvements across Yorkshire and the Humber include more space for passengers into Leeds and Sheffield at peak times, more and better services for Bradford and Hull, and brand new trains on long-distance services
Rail journeys across Yorkshire and the Humber will undergo the biggest transformation in decades, thanks to an unprecedented package of improvements being delivered in new franchise deals, the government announced today (9 December 2015).
More than 500 brand-new carriages, the removal of the outdated and unpopular Pacer trains, room for 40,000 extra passengers at the busiest times, and more than 2,000 extra services a week will be delivered across the north.
The government has announced it intends to award the Northern franchise to Arriva Rail North Limited, and the TransPennine Express franchise to First Trans Pennine Express Limited. Together they will oversee a massive 1.2 billion boost to rail services with brand-new modern trains, more seats, more services and a host of improvements to deliver a modern, 21st century passenger experience - as well as playing a vital role in bringing the Northern Powerhouse to life, rebalancing the economy, creating jobs, opportunity and growth, and providing significantly better journeys across the region.
As part of the governments commitment to ensure local passengers are at the heart of the rail network and devolve power to those that know their economies and customers best, the franchises will be jointly managed from Leeds by the Department for Transport and Rail North Limited - which represents 29 local authorities across the north.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
We promised passengers across Yorkshire and the Humber a world class rail service that would make the Northern Powerhouse a reality and Im delighted that we have found 2 operators that will deliver exactly that. As a one nation government we are committed to closing the economic gap between north and south. This deal, and the joint management of the franchises, will bring the Northern Powerhouse to life.
In 2004, the last time these contracts were awarded, the government did not plan for growth today weve put that right.
Arriva Rail North Limited and First Trans Pennine Express Limited went far beyond our requirements with exciting, ambitious plans that will make a real difference to customers, and coupled with our commitment to push ahead with electrifying the vital TransPennine route will help the region realise its full economic potential, ensuring it has a modern 21st century transport system. This is fantastic news for Yorkshire and the Humber.
Sir Richard Leese, chair of the Association of Rail North Partner Authorities said:
Passengers were clear that they wanted to see a transformation including a lot more newer, better, trains running more regularly with a step change in services provided off-peak and on Sundays. They also wanted improvements to stations and changes to make ticketing easier - and thanks to all the partnership work by Rail North and the Department for Transport, thats exactly what we are able to announce today.
This is another crucial move towards devolution for the north. Rail North will now play a major role in the management and development of both new franchises, providing an excellent platform for further development and full devolution in the future. Rail North will work very closely with Transport for the North to drive forward economic growth by developing visionary proposals to deliver radically improved connectivity across the north.
Arriva Rail North Limited will run the Northern franchise which is the second largest in the UK and operates regional and commuter services across the region from April 2016 until March 2025. The operator will oversee the complete removal of the outdated and unpopular Pacers by the end of 2019, introduce more than 2,000 extra services each week, and will invest 400 million in 281 brand new air-conditioned carriages to be rolled out across the north more than double the minimum required in the governments invitation to tender.
Across Yorkshire and the Humber, specific improvements on the Northern network include:
- longer trains and more frequent services, providing space for more than 14,000 extra passengers around 46% more capacity into Leeds and Sheffield during the morning rush hour
- more services between Bradford and Manchester and Bradford and Leeds, and new direct links from Bradford to Wakefield, Sheffield, Nottingham, Liverpool and Manchester Airport
- more services between Harrogate and Leeds; Halifax to Manchester, and Leeds to Lancaster via Skipton
- more modern trains between Leeds and Doncaster, new electric trains serving Skipton and Ilkley, and brand new diesel trains on the Hull-Doncaster-Sheffield route
- new direct links from Bridlington and Beverley to Leeds
- a new high-quality Northern Connect service, meaning new or refurbished trains on longer-distance services, faster journeys and stations staffed daily with catering services and free Wi-Fi at each one as well as serving Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford, this network will also serve other destinations including Barnsley, Meadowhall, Lincoln, Doncaster, Wakefield, Todmorden, Halifax and Hebden Bridge
- extra staff brought in at more than 30 stations
- improved ticketing, including mobile and print-at-home tickets, and discounted fares for jobseekers
Chris Burchell, Managing Director of Arrivas UK Trains division, said:
We are proud to be given the opportunity to transform rail travel for passengers in the north of England and to work closely with our partners to connect towns, cities and communities like never before.
We will be investing more than 1 billion to deliver a step-change in quality for customers and dramatically improving services, stations, information and ticketing. Our aim is to be the communities local railway and to leave a positive lasting legacy for the north of England.
First Trans Pennine Express Limited will operate services on the TransPennine Express franchise which runs intercity services across the region and into Scotland from April 2016 until March 2023. They will bring in 220 new carriages, equivalent to 44 trains, providing fast 125 mph services across the network, as well as introducing in Yorkshire and the Humber:
- more than 4,000 more seats on Leeds and Sheffield services an overall increase of 61% - during the morning rush hour
- longer, brand new trains on services between Scarborough, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool
- extra services between Leeds and Hull, including at weekends
- more services from Newcastle to York, Leeds and Manchester
- improved passenger facilities including extra shops, better ticket offices, parcel collection lockers and disabled car park spaces at Hull station, backed by 1.4 million investment, in time for UK City of Culture in 2017; plus improvements at Grimsby Town, Cleethorpes and Selby stations
- discounted advance fares for 16- to 18-year-olds and jobseekers
Tim OToole, chief executive of FirstGroup, said:
Our new TransPennine Express franchise will deliver faster and more frequent intercity train services between the norths major towns and cities and we are excited to help the government achieve its vision for a Northern Powerhouse. Our plans in