Ar­riva quits Wales

Rail (UK) - - Contents - An­drew Ro­den Con­tribut­ing Writer rail@bauer­me­dia.co.uk @AndyRo­den1

Cur­rent fran­chise holder with­draws from bid­ding for new Wales & Bor­ders deal due to start next year.

AR­RIVA has with­drawn its bid to run the next Wales & Bor­ders fran­chise, which is due to start in Oc­to­ber 2018.

It the first time that a fran­chise holder has with­drawn in this way from a bid.

In a state­ment, Ar­riva Trains Wales Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Tom Joyner said: “We have been no­ti­fied that Ar­riva Group have with­drawn from the bid­ding process for the next Wales and Bor­ders fran­chise. Our key pri­or­ity fol­low­ing this an­nounce­ment is to con­tinue to fo­cus on the de­liv­ery of our ser­vices for the peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties that de­pend on us for the re­main­der of the cur­rent fran­chise, in­clud­ing a £1mil­lion Ar­riva Trains Wales in­vest­ment in ad­di­tional trains which will be in­tro­duced in 2018.

“We will con­tinue to work closely with our govern­ment and in­dus­try part­ners to sup­port them with the de­liv­ery of their pri­or­i­ties.”

RAIL un­der­stands that Ar­riva has ma­jor con­cerns around bid costs: specif­i­cally bid risk, un­ease about the bal­ance be­tween risk and re­turn and dif­fi­cul­ties over their de­tailed eval­u­a­tion.

The re­main­ing bid­ders are Abel­lio Rail Cymru, Ke­o­lis-Amey and MTR Cor­po­ra­tion (Cymru).

A Trans­port for Wales spokesman said: “Ar­riva Rail Wales has no­ti­fied Trans­port for Wales that it in­tends to with­draw from the bid­ding process. It is not un­com­mon for bid­ders for ma­jor projects to with­draw dur­ing the ten­der process and Ar­riva has been clear that it has done this for its own com­mer­cial rea­sons.

“The pro­cure­ment process is a tough and de­mand­ing one and we recog­nise Ar­riva’s ex­ten­sive work to date. We would like to thank the com­pany for its sup­port and pos­i­tive at­ti­tude since the pro­cure­ment started and we will con­tinue to work closely with the com­pany to en­sure that ex­ist­ing staff and cus­tomers are cen­tral to our tran­si­tion plan­ning over the next 12 months. With fi­nal ten­ders due later this year, we have three com­pa­nies with world-class cre­den­tials, each putting their own dis­tinct cases for how they will de­liver the am­bi­tious ob­jec­tives we set, with the goal of de­liv­er­ing a step-change in rail ser­vices for pas­sen­gers across Wales and the Bor­ders.”

The RMT has crit­i­cised Ar­riva’s de­ci­sion, with Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Mick Cash say­ing: “This de­ci­sion by Ar­riva to aban­don their op­er­a­tions in Wales ex­poses the whole flaky and op­por­tunist na­ture of the rail fran­chis­ing process. They ap­pear to have pulled out be­cause they can’t make enough money, which is ex­tra­or­di­nary. This news presents a golden op­por­tu­nity for the Welsh to take back con­trol of their rail­ways through pub­lic own­er­ship and that op­por­tu­nity should be seized with both hands.”

JOHN STRETTON.

Ar­riva Trains Wales 175001 stands at Crewe on Novem­ber 12 2016, with the 1107 Car­marthen-Manch­ester Pic­cadilly. Ar­riva has with­drawal from the bid­ding process for the new Wales & Bor­ders fran­chise.

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