MARK MEETS FIRST GROUP MD ON WEST COAST MAINLINE

September 25, 2012 5:55 PM

28,000 EXTRA TRAIN SEATS EVERY DAY “A WELCOME BOOST FOR STOCKPORTCheadle MP Mark Hunter, in Brighton for the Lib Dem Party Conference, has held top level talks with Richard Parry, MD of First Group Inter City West Coast franchise.

Mr Hunter was keen to put to Mr Parry concerns expressed by his constituents following the bidding process which recently saw First Group winning out over Virgin Trains and win the franchise for the next 15 years. The decision is now being challenged in the courts by Virgin.

Mr Parry reiterated First Group's determination to cut prices and improve services when they are scheduled to take over the contract in December. Under the regulations, jobs are protected and all current employees will transfer to the new company if they wish. Mr Parry was adamant in winning the franchise First had "played by all the rules" and remained confident of their business plan for the West Coast Mainline.

After the meeting Mark commented:

"I was pleased to take this early opportunity of meeting with First Group to discuss their plans. Like many other Cheadle residents I am a regular user of the West Coast Mainline and whilst I acknowledge there is certainly room for improvement we should remember that under Virgin this is a good reliable service with three trains an hour from Manchester to London. First Group now have to deliver on their bid and I will be monitoring the situation closely to see that they do."

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