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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber Welcomes Rail Franchise Extension

Chris HobsonChamber member East Midlands Trains has secured an investment of around £13m from the Department for Transport to improve services for customers as part of a new rail franchise.

The current East Midlands Trains franchise was due to end in October and the operator had been in discussions with the DfT for a number of months about a Direct Award to the franchise.
Stagecoach, East Midlands Trains’ parent company, has now secured an agreement with the DfT that will see services continue to run until at least March 2018.

Chris Hobson, the Chamber's Director of Policy, said: “This is fantastic news for the region and for one of our key members, East Midlands Trains, which will ensure that rail passengers can continue to access the same award-winning service for at least the next two-and-a-half years.

“The announcement of this franchise agreement is timely, given that the Chamber is leading a delegation of business – including East Midlands Trains - and local authority leaders to Westminster today to meet with local MPs and get their support for the electrification of the Midlands Main Line, which is currently on hold.

“The Midlands region, and the East Midlands in particular, has created jobs at a faster rate than anywhere else in the country over the past 18 months and has been a significant driver of the growth of the UK economy from recession to recovery. Businesses here stand ready to push the economy forward again, but they need support.

“The electrification of the Midlands Main Line is critical to the delivery of a modern, cost effective and reliable transport system serving the economy of the East Midlands and should proceed without delay.”