The franchise to operate London’s Dockland’s Light Railway (DLR) has been handed to French transport company Keolis from December 2014.
The firm will replace Serco, which has run the DLR since 1997 and is believed to have earned £90m from its efforts.
Transport for London (TfL) has said that Keolis will operate the DLR in a seven-year deal with the option to extend it by a further two years in 2021. The firm already operates the Southern, South Eastern and London Midland rail franchises via a joint partnership and is in the running for Crossrail. It recently won a bid for Thameslink, sparking protests from rail campaigners over proposed cuts to the number of staff on trains. The DLR will also be run in a joint partnership with Amey, called Keolis Amey Docklands.
A decision on who will run Crossrail is expected by the end of this year, with Keolis being one of four rail operators shortlisted.
Interestingly, a Which? passenger satisfaction survey earlier this year identified London Midland and Southern as scoring between 40-50%, with South Eastern at the bottom of the pile with 40%.
Mike Brown, TfL’s managing director of London Underground and Rail, said:
“The DLR is a rail network that continues to support regeneration across a huge area of London and the economic growth of the city as a whole.”
He added: “The decision to appoint Keolis Amey Docklands was reached after a thorough and competitive procurement process, which will ensure the DLR continues to deliver an ever-improving high-quality, value-for-money service for Londoners well into the future.”
In other rail franchise bid news, National Express recently managed to hold onto c2c, while some may remember that last summer TfL announced its plans to take over the majority of Abellio Greater Anglia services into Liverpool Street (2015 is the projected date for that). We really hope it plans to replace some of the rather grim trains.
We’ve previously looked at ways to improve London’s train services.
Photo by Joe Dunckley in the Londonist Flickr pool.