** On 23 March 2020, as a result of the Coronavirus Outbreak, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps utilised Section 118 of the Railways Act 1993 to suspend all current franchise agreements with private Train Operating Companies and replace them with new Emergency Measures Agreements (EMAs), which will run for six months.
These EMAs apply to all franchises currently let by the Department for Transport, except for LNER and Northern, which are already in public ownership.
EMAs do not apply to:
• the ScotRail or the Caledonian Sleeper franchises let by the Scottish Government,
• the Transport for Wales Rail franchise let by the Welsh Government,
• the TfL Rail or London Overground contracts let by Transport for London, or
• the Merseyrail contract let by Merseytravel **
Read on for the original Franchise information…
The West Coast Partnership franchise has been operated by Avanti West Coast since December 2019. The franchise includes long-distance services operating on the West Coast Main Line, and is intended to incorporate future HS2 services. It replaced the former InterCity West Coast franchise, which had been operated by Virgin Trains since 1997. Avanti West Coast is 70% owned by FirstGroup and 30% owned by Trenitalia, the national state-owned rail operator in Italy. FirstGroup also operates the Great Western Railway and TransPennine Express franchises, as well as the South Western Railway franchise in a joint venture with MTR Corporation. Trenitalia also operates the c2c franchise alone.
• Do you use the Avanti West Coast service regularly?
• Do you believe it should be returned to public hands as part of a re-unified national rail network run for people not profit?
• Then, why not start a campaign building up to the franchise end in November 2016?
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Existing Campaigns / Groups:
• Public Consultation on Future of InterCity West Coast rail franchise (deadline 2 August 2016)