Arriva Win London Overground Concession
Image courtesy of TfL
Transport for London (TfL) have awarded the new London Overground operator contract to Arriva Rail London Limited, taking over from the existing operator LOROL in November 2016.
The contract, worth £1.5billion, is for a duration of seven and a half years, with an option to extend for a further two years. Arriva will assist TfL in upgrading the network, including works to modernise stations and increase service frequency, beginning with the North London line. New rolling stock will be brought in in 2018 between Liverpool Street and Gospel Oak.
The terms of the concession also include extended operating hours and new services on certain routes on bank holidays, as well as consistent improvements in performance. Financial penalties for poor services have been put in place to meet more rigorous standards for punctuality.
Gareth Powell, TfL’s Chief Operating Officer, London Rail, said:
‘We have worked hard to deliver major improvements for our customers, taking a neglected part of the transport network and transforming it to support new homes, jobs and economic growth across the Capital. Arriva will build on this by extending operating hours, improving frequencies and introducing new trains. I would also like to thank the existing operator LOROL for their work that has helped make London Overground the huge success story it is today.’
Chris Burchell, managing director of Arriva’s UK trains division, said:
“It is exciting to be given the opportunity to build on the major improvements we have made in recent years and we are delighted to be playing a key role in the next phase of London’s growth and development.
“London Overground is one of the capital’s big transport success stories with passenger numbers rising rapidly, the transformation of stations, and the introduction of extended trains to help with peak overcrowding.
“They are just some examples of the step-change in quality and how the network contributes to London’s economy. From November, our role is to ensure this success story continues and customer satisfaction levels remain high – helped by 1,300 employees who understand the network inside out.
“We will be working closely with Transport for London to introduce further improvements which will bring world-class performance and customer service levels across the network and to new routes.”
MTR, who lost out on the contract, released a statement in response, with CEO of European Business Jeremy Long saying:
“MTR has been involved in London Overground since its inception, so we are obviously very disappointed that we won’t be working with TfL on the network’s next chapter.
“MTR has helped transform Overground from a series of underperforming and out-of-use lines into one of the country’s best railways, regenerating many areas of London.
“The success of Overground is testament to TfL’s vision, investment and stewardship, and the commitment of our staff, MTR colleagues, Network Rail, and our partners to delivering for passengers.”