South Western Railway want to renegotiate franchise - potential legal action

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by StaffsWCML, 11 Jun 2019.

  1. kevin_roche

    kevin_roche Member

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    Maybe because the service has been poor. I'm not a regular user any more but I used to catch the train a lot. Once it degraded I found driving more reliable.

    Also I often pass the station in Basingstoke and have seen lots of occasions in the last year when Bus Replacements are running at weekends. That isn't going to help.

    New house building in Basingstoke has also not happened much since the Franchise changed. That is likely to change in the next few years with what is almost a new town being built at Manydown. Unfortunately that is about as far as possible from the station.
     
  2. southern442

    southern442 Established Member

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    True, there are very few areas of genuine competition and choice, but the few corridors that do show benefits (London to Hastings, Portsmouth or Southampton spring to mind) would also cease to be.
     
  3. southern442

    southern442 Established Member

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    This is quite interesting to see. At one point GTR were so unpopular that it leaked into popular culture (such as various criminally unfunny Mock The Week jokes) but it seems as though they have very slowly and quietly gotten their act together slightly. Certainly don't get the bad rep that they used to. This means that we now have a lot more time to have a go at SWR who have been fairly iffy for a while but are really getting it now.
     
  4. kristiang85

    kristiang85 Member

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    Totally. I was a regular traveller from Waterloo-Basingstoke under SWT and it was a generally decent service (although at that time I wasn't using it daily). I noticed a decline in the summer of the transfer of franchise, but put it down to teething problems with the works at WAterloo around that time. Since moving to Basingstoke in early 2018, the service has been awful, getting worse, and the prices rocketing. If I could drive, I certainly would be using that option right now.

    I think their lack of options for flexible season tickets has meant a lot more people working from home many more days and paying as they go - I'm certainly seeing the trains getting much quieter on Mondays/Fridays. That was a promise they made which wasn't kept (5% off for a carnet of 10 tickets at peak time price is NOT a flexible season ticket). Getting rid of SWT's free weekend passes also hasn't incentivised people to renew season tickets. Add on to that the removal of void days and discounts on renewal for poor performance, then this has stopped people too. I know most of these are not entirely in their hands, but the communication was appalling.
     
  5. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    Those routes & the few others are almost entirely legacies from the various BR sectors & regions or in some cases even before that, so if re nationalised, the slower route could still be priced lower to help spread passanger leadings
     
    Last edited: 12 Jun 2019
  6. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

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    The replacement of void days with Delay Repay was one of the most commonly requested initiatives by passengers so they have got what they wanted. As a passenger myself I welcome it because now I can claim compensation in the off peak, evenings and weekends and for any reason. SWT were constantly weedling their way out of paying up for anything.

    Furthermore it was specified by the DfT as Delay Repay 15 is becoming the industry standard.
     
  7. TUC

    TUC Established Member

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    The company knew the deal they were signing. Why do TOCs think they’re special cases when it comes to commercial contracts?
     
  8. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

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    Because they're commercial businesses. It's in their nature to try it on.
     
  9. TUC

    TUC Established Member

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    And the DfT seem too reluctant to send such TOCs away with a flea in their ear.
     
  10. whhistle

    whhistle Established Member

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    Indeed!
    Yet another "I don't understand why Unions think strike action is a course of action" thought.
    Less people travelling means less services, means less staff.


    I also think there is a wider problem in that the railway doesn't think about the changing work patterns.
    There's certainly been less people travelling since Christmas round my area and more so on a Monday and Friday.
    While breaking the 9-5 pattern is slow for many businesses, I reckon it'll pick up massively soon, which will have a massive impact on railways. Whether there will be such a thing as "peak time" in the future, who knows.
     
  11. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    The railway definitely does think about changing work patterns, and is forecasting accordingly. However the peaks are still the peaks.
     
  12. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    I think there will always be a "peak time" in busy cities like London. There are simply too many roles which can't possibly go outside the 9-5 realm because the presence of the worker at certain hours is at the heart of the job (e.g. office receptionist, stock trader, building security, manager).
     
  13. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    And that is before you start looking at jobs like mine, which while in theory could be done anywhere at anytime, in reality also rely a huge amount on being in the same room as people (so same time and same place) or at the very least being able to be on a skype call with them (so at the same time).
     
  14. thedbdiboy

    thedbdiboy Member

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    They don't, but the media and those that want to make ideological points are happy to bend the truth. A franchise agreement IS a contract. The contract is subject to a bond that is forfeit if the contractor walks away. However, this situation arises when the 'bid' figures agreed between DfT and the TOC have (for whatever reason) failed to materialise. In such cases the TOC is not (depite the hysterical rhetoric of various quarters) 'let off the hook' - they aren't - they have got their sums wrong, so they are faced with forfeiting their bond just as the contract states.
    What tends to be conveniently ignored is that this only happens because the contract has been proven to be worth less than the bidder AND the DfT thought it was. So it is going to cost the government more WHOEVER takes it on (or even if it is operated directly, like LNER).
    Naturally, the incumbent TOC will try and renegotiate terms so that they can carry on operating on more favourable terms, but this isn't the TOC thinking it's a special case - it's what anyone in that situation will try and do. It is then entirely up to DfT whether it considers that it can get a better deal for taxpayers by doing this or by letting the contract lapse.
     
  15. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    If a TOC wants to see large amounts of growth then they need to provide the rolling stock to accommodate in

    It's the reason that trains which are >100% full aren't getting significantly busier.

    If they were to see more growth without new stock they needed to encourage more travel in the areas where there's space on the trains.

    However, on such a busy franchise that's very few places, so more stock is needed to run more (not into London, but there's scope for other services to be run) & longer services.

    However the better solution would be the building of Crossrail 2, freeing up paths into Waterloo and running ~50% more services to locations South and West of Woking.
     
  16. thedbdiboy

    thedbdiboy Member

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    To reiterate - it's a contract. The DfT agrees the timetable, rolling stock plan and the revenue line. It is the DfT that is in effect dictating that they think train service x will make y money. There is a general consensus though even within government that the surrent system is broken so we all wait with baited breath to see what the Williams review recommends!
     

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