THE DEPARTMENT for Transport has exercised the option of a one-year extension to the CrossCountry franchise, meaning Arriva will continue to operate it through to October 2020. The current direct award agreement began in October 2016 for three years, with the optional extension.

The Department for Transport had originally planned a new competed franchise to begin in early 2020, but last September cancelled this pending the outcome of the Williams Review.

Instead, DfT plans to negotiate a further direct award franchise with Arriva, running for up to five years, with this now planned to start on 18 October 2020.

New service: with maintenance facilities in Cardiff now dedicated to Transport for Wales stock, in the summer timetable a CrossCountry Turbostar set stables overnight at Arriva’s Barton Hill depot in Bristol and forms a weekday 06.13 Bristol Temple Meads to Stansted Airport service. Here No 170637 is seen on the working on 17 June 2019 on the relief line at Stapleton Road.
Richard Giles