Strategic Meetings Summit London, 26 September,
September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has approved an open access operator to run six trains a day between London and Blackpool.
Arriva-owned Great North Western Railway will run the services on the West Coast Mainline from 2018.
An open access operator is a train company not subject to franchising, instead purchasing individual slots on the mainline from a railway infrastructure company.
ORR director of economic regulation John Larkinson said: “ORR recognises the benefits competition between train operators can bring to passengers and welcomes applications for new train services where they meet required criteria and provide real benefits for rail users.”
The GTMC, which has campaigned for the ORR to recognise the benefits delivered by open access operators, welcomed the announcement.
“The news today that the ORR has approved new off-peak services between London and Lancashire on the West Coast Mainline is a step in the right direction,” GTMC CEO Paul Wait said.
“Greater connectivity to and from London for towns such as Blackpool, Poulton-le-Fylde and Kirkem and Wesham will be fantastic news for businesses based in this area of the North West. Enhanced infrastructure outside the South East drives investment which is good news for a more balanced national economy.”
The new services will see Arriva invest in a fleet of Pendolino trains.
Read our feature onIs there a lack of competition in the British rail industry?
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