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Eversheds advises UK government on further major strategic rail franchise deal

  • United Kingdom


    Law firm Eversheds has advised Department for Transport (DfT) on the new Essex Thameside franchise which has been awarded to the current operator c2c (a subsidiary of National Express Group PLC).

    The Essex Thameside franchise operates over a network of routes between London Fenchurch Street and Southend and serves key intermediate commuter hubs including Barking and Basildon.

    The new fifteen year franchise will support the government’s multi billion pound investment in Britain’s railways, allowing c2c to build on the existing high performance of the franchise and improve journeys between London and the commuter hubs of Barking, Basildon and Southend. Under the deal c2c has committed to deliver around £160 million of passenger benefits including:

    • an additional 17 trains providing 4,800 extra seats;
    • more than 25,000 additional morning peak time seats for passengers every week by the end of the franchise;
    • free wi fi at stations and on trains;
    • an enhanced compensation scheme meaning that passengers who use smart tickets will automatically receive compensation if their train is delayed;
    • over £30 million invested in improving stations including London Fenchurch Street and Barking;
    • complete “step free” access at all stations; and
    • More than 200 new car parking spaces and £457,000 invested in improved cycling facilities and accessibility at stations.
    • c2c has committed to hitting tough new punctuality targets meaning that more than 90% of services will be required to reach their destinations within one minute of the scheduled time by December 2018.

    This new franchise follows the successful award of the Thameslink Southern Great Northern (TSGN) franchise earlier in the year (Eversheds also acted for the Department for Transport on that award).

    The Eversheds team was led by Partner Peter McCormack and included Sophie Robinson, James Robinson, Paola Scagnelli, Evelyn Onifade and Tony Singh.

    Peter McCormack said:

    “We are delighted to have advised the Department for Transport on a further strategically important new rail franchise.”

    DfT Rail Executive Project Director Karen Letten said:

    “The operation of a revised procurement process for the Essex Thameside competition was an extremely complex challenge. The professional advice and excellent work by the Eversheds team was crucial in ensuring the Department awarded this contract in the best interest of the passenger and the taxpayer.”


    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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