12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
Smart ticketing and an enhanced online booking system are to be introduced by South West Trains after the franchise operator struck a new investment deal with the government.
Stagecoach, which runs the franchise serving London’s Waterloo station, said it had agreed a deed of amendment with the Department for Transport to allow the spending of £50 million on service improvements before the franchise is due to end in February 2017.
These upgrades will include a revamped online booking system and the introduction of smart ticketing, which Stagecoach said would allow “joined up journeys with London's bus and Tube network”.
Other initiatives will include a new website and mobile app, as well as extra train services in the evenings and at weekends.
Rail minister Claire Perry said: "This package of improvements from South West Trains, with its strong focus on customer service, is very welcome and will make a huge difference to passengers on the many busy routes served by this franchise."
Tim Shoveller, chief executive of the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, added: "We are absolutely focused on improving the railway for today's customers and planning for the future.
"We have invested more than £22 million in improvements at more than 30 stations over the past 18 months, as well as starting to introduce free wifi.
“In the next five years, we will be spending more than £1.2 billion on the rail network as part of a wider programme to deliver an extra 115,000 seats a day into the capital by 2019."
Stagecoach and the DFT are currently negotiating over a possible extension of the current South West Trains franchise until April 2019.