Integrated Kent

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Integrated Kent
Current operator: Southeastern
Main Region(s): London and South East

Integrated Kent is a railway franchise for the provision of passenger services. It was formed by adding High Speed 1 services from London St Pancras to the South Eastern Passenger Rail Franchise services run by South Eastern Trains from London Blackfriars, London Bridge, London Cannon Street, London Charing Cross and London Victoria to Hayes, Bromley North, Ramsgate, Dover Priory, Folkestone Harbour and Ore and various destinations within including Orpington, Sevenoaks, Dartford, Tunbridge Wells, Ashford and Canterbury West. It also runs services between Sittingbourne & Sheerness-on-Sea and Maidstone West & Strood.

History[edit]

In December 2003 the Strategic Rail Authority announced that Danish State Railways/Stagecoach, First, Govia and MTR/Sea Containers had been shortlisted to bid for the franchise.[1]

In November 2005 the Department for Transport announced Govia had been awarded the franchise with the services operated by South East Trains transferred to Southeastern on 1 April 2006.[2]

The franchise was let for an initial eight years, with a two-year option dependent on performance targets being met. The total subsidy for the franchise is £585 million over eight years. The Department for Transport stated that the franchise area had already benefited from almost £700 million in investment on new rolling stock and improved infrastructure, and that given investment in the region the new operator will increase fares by 3% above inflation from January 2007 for five years to ensure there is a fair balance in cost between the taxpayer and fare paying passenger.

According to the Department for Transport, Govia committed to:

  • Invest around £76 million in passenger and staff facilities
  • Oversee the construction of two depots in East Kent to maintain the new and existing fleet of trains
  • Improve performance with all day PPM train performance of 91.6% by March 2010 and 93.74% by March 2014
  • Provide services which are additional to the base line DfT asked for in the Invitation to Tender
  • Run services to Dover[3] if safety concerns at Shakespeare Tunnels could be overcome.

High-speed commuter services to/from St Pancras International via High Speed 1 commenced in December 2009, and a preview service starting on 29 June from St Pancras and Ebbsfleet and Ashford.

On 5 May 2010 BBC Radio Kent reported from 6pm that further substantial taxpayer support had been given to Govia in respect of the Southeastern franchise, although the BBC web pages for Kent failed to simultaneously reflect the news item.

Having met the performance criteria, on 18 March 2011 the Department for Transport granted Govia a two year franchise extension until 31 March 2014.[4]

Replacement[edit]

In June 2012 the Department for Transport launched the consultation process for the new South Eastern franchise that is to replace Integrated Kent from April 2014.[5] However, this was put on hold after issues with the letting of InterCity West Coast.

References[edit]