Customers of the Inter City East Coast route will have a direct line to the National Express Group ("NX"") bid team through a new dedicated website that goes live today (Tuesday 13th March).
www.youreastcoast.co.uk is aimed at capturing ideas and feedback from stakeholders and customers, and widens the stakeholder consultation process that is already being underway by the NX bid team as it develops its plans for the Inter City East Coast franchise.
The Invitation to Tender for the franchise was issued last week and bidders have 90 days to develop their plans for submission to the Department for Transport. ("DfT").
One of the most important features of the website is an online survey which stakeholders and customers can complete, and which will be an important source of research for the NX bid team. The website complements customer research and focus groups that are being undertaken along the entire East Coast route during the coming weeks.
The site will be regularly updated with news and comments and aimed at expanding the consultation process to include both regular and occasional users of the service.
Group Chief Executive Richard Bowker said: "We are delighted to launch a site that is aimed directly at passengers on the East Coast. We value their opinions and believe their feedback can help us submit a bid that takes into account their requirements whilst still providing the DfT with an attractive and deliverable bid.
"One of the DfT's key objectives for this franchise is to improve alignment with stakeholder and passenger aspirations. We know that this route is really important to its stakeholders and we are keen to hear what they have to say."
The bid team is also going out on the route to talk directly to stakeholders this week. From tomorrow key bid team members will take a tour of seven key cities on the route, starting in Doncaster and travelling to Leeds, York, Newcastle, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Peterborough.
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Notes to Editors:
- National Express Group is one of the UK's leading train operating companies with six franchises within its portfolio; c2c, Silverlink, Central Trains, Gatwick Express, Midland Mainline and ‘one' incorporating Stansted Express.
- National Express Group serves more than one billion passengers a year worldwide on its bus, train, light rail and express coach and airport operations. We have leading positions in each of our markets - the United Kingdom, North America and Spain. Over 25% of our operations are now in international markets.
- National Express Group has recently submitted bids for the East Midlands and New Cross Country franchises. The winning bidders will be announced in Summer and the franchises will begin in November 2007.
- Deadline for submission of the East Coast bid is 6 June. The winning bidder will be announced in late Summer and the new franchise is due to commence in late Autumn 2007.
For further information, please contact:
Alison Flynn /Georgina Parkes
National Express Group PLC 020 7529 2000
Alison Flynn 07785 340626