St Albans City and District Council’s Cabinet has agreed a strategy to respond to the new Thameslink Franchise to ensure it benefits local residents and commuters.
The Thameslink service is of strategic importance to the District. It is a key component in the Network St Albans* partnership which is seeking to co-ordinate travel locally.
The Department for Transport (DfT) is proposing to combine the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchises. It is currently consulting on the specification for the combined franchise which is due to start in September 2013 and run for a minimum of seven years. The franchise will be responsible for delivering rail services across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Greater London, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Norfolk, Surrey and Sussex.
On 21 June, Cabinet agreed that meetings will be held with:
• passenger groups and Network St Albans to help inform the Council’s position in future discussions.
• potential bidders for the Thameslink Franchise so that the Council can help them develop their approach to their bids.
In addition, Cabinet asked the Local Services Scrutiny Committee to recommend improvements to the Thameslink Franchise. Its findings will be used to inform the above meetings and to help the Council develop a response to the DfT consultation.
Cabinet also agreed that discussions be held with Hertsmere and Luton Borough Councils to identify areas of common agreement on desired improvements to the Thameslink service.
Councillor Beric Read, Portfolio Holder for Community Engagement and Localism for the District Council, said: “The Thameslink service plays an important role in the lives of residents and commuters to and from the District. The Council wants to identify how the service can be improved so that we can try and influence the operation of the new franchise for the benefit of local people.”
of the meeting held on Thursday 21 June can be viewed on Council’s website.
Councillor Beric Read, Portfolio Holder for Community Engagement and Localism for the District Council
Tel: 07956 220264
Contact for the press:
Media and Internal Communications Officer
St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 01727 819317
2. * Network St Albans
helps facilitate and promote better integrated and sustainable travel around St Albans and the surrounding areas. This includes travel by bus, train, walking or cycling.
This initiative is supported by local businesses, the University of Hertfordshire, St Albans City and District Council, Hertfordshire County Council and local bus and train operators.