Post by snoggle on May 19, 2018 10:46:10 GMT
People may not be deserting public transport, sorry, badly worded and was tired, lol... but it doesn't have the appeal of stuff outside the M25. We may have higher frequency but there are no creature comforts like WiFi and USB charging. Reliability has been hit by lower road speeds plus roadworks and congestion.
With regards to Stagecoach they did very well with SWT, see how First MTR are suffering now! That franchise was one of the best, now suddenly it's almost as bad as Southeastern... I don't know what penalties there are for VTEC abandoning the franchise, but if it is minor like an eBay non payment strike, more franchisees might follow their bad example. Let's see if the State use a more sensible ticketing system that isn't so expensive and confusing as the current models rail franchises have
Snowman has explained about the performance bond. In essence what happened with VTEC is that income (and growth) was not as high as projected. They still paid the premiums that were due to the DfT in accordance with their contract. The difference between those payments and operating losses has eaten away the performance bond. Worse there was no way forward because the contract was predicated on Network Rail delivering a set of upgrades along the route to allow more trains to run and also to allow the Hitachi IEPs to operate (they need a strengthening power supply). I think, but am not certain, that the IEPs are also a bit behind schedule. Therefore Network Rail has caused the DfT to breach the contract. Similarly the trains are a DfT obligation so DfT have breached the contract twice. Given the NR works have gone back years there was no way on earth that VTEC could meet their commitments and once the performance bond is exhausted then the contract ends. This is where we have got to. In essence both parties to the contract got stuff wrong - DfT made commitments that could not be delived and Stagecoach / Virgin overbid in terms of growth - timing and extent.
We do not know precisely where a TfL run GN Inners would stretch to. It would almost certainly reach Welwyn Garden City and Hertford North. An extra platform is supposed to be being built at Stevenage but it is delayed so trains won't run beyond Watton at Stone from Dec 2018. I'd therefore say that a future GN Inner service will reach Stevenage. I believe the new timetable abandons the long standing hourly service to Letchworth Garden City.