RAIL FRANCHISE UPDATE

The new rail franchise for running, amongst others, services on the Harrogate line (includes Horsforth station), will start in April 2016 and will be run by Arriva Rail North Ltd and TransPennine Express. The Northern franchise is for 9 years with a possible 1 year extension and TransPennine is for 7 years with a possible 2 year extension. There will be 500 newly built carriages including 125mph intercity trains across both franchises.

 There will be 37% extra capacity (over 31,000 seats) across the Northern service in the mornings into Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield by 2019 and 66% extra capacity (9,000 seats) on TransPennine Express into the big cities by 2019.  Free Wifi with on-demand entertainment and real-time passenger information screens will be introduced on all trains by 2020.

 There will be automatic compensation for delays for registered season and advance purchase ticket holders, improved customer service and challenging targets for customer satisfaction.

 Customers in Leeds will benefit from 3 extra services per day to Hull; brand new electric trains to Skipton and Ilkley; 4 trains per hour to Harrogate between 0700hrs and 1900hrs in combination with Virgin East Coast plus enhanced evening services and increased frequency on Sundays.