New GBP 400m DLR franchise Docklands Light Railway
London, United Kingdom – Improved passenger service and security are the key hallmarks of a new £400m franchise to operate and maintain the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), which has been awarded to Serco Docklands (Serco) and began at the end of May 2006.
A safer more secure Docklands Light Railway
Serco, which has achieved considerable improvements in both train performance and passenger numbers on the DLR over the last nine years, has been rewarded with a new seven-year franchise agreement that will play a major role in supporting the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. The new franchise, awarded by Transport for London (TfL), includes challenging new targets for train punctuality, customer service and security:
- At least 96 per cent of trains must run ‘on time’ (ie within three minutes of the scheduled time) and with no more than two per cent of trains cancelled per day
- At least nine out of ten passengers must be ‘satisfied’ with the train service – as measured by regular customer satisfaction surveys
- Improved security on stations and trains with enhanced CCTV, increased staff presence at high-profile stations and 12 new dedicated ‘Travel Safe Officers’
- Better passenger information with new train information screens and two-way television Help points on stations, new television information systems on trains and the use of mobile phone technology to provide real-time travel information.
Ian Brown, TfL London Rail’s Managing Director, said: "We are delighted to see the start of Serco’s new franchise which promises to further boost passenger service and security on the DLR.
"It will also ensure that the current high standards of punctuality and customer service are maintained – the latest figures show 97.1 per cent of trains arriving on time and 96 per cent of passengers satisfied with the service.
"These are exciting times for Londoners, with the ongoing regeneration of East London and the Olympics and Paralympics just around the corner.
"The DLR continues to grow to meet this demand. With the new franchise now in place and a number of major expansion projects underway, the DLR is perfectly placed to deliver a world-class railway for a world-class city by 2012."
The new franchise period will also see the completion of the Woolwich Arsenal extension in 2009, the 3-car upgrade to increase capacity between Bank and Lewisham in 2009, and the extension to Stratford International in 2010 – all funded and delivered as part of TfL’s £10bn Investment Programme.
Serco was originally awarded the franchise to operate and maintain the DLR in April 1997, and since then has seen more than a 100 per cent growth in passenger figures, from 25 to 50 million per year.
Train reliability has increased from 90 per cent to 97.1 per cent under the franchise, making the DLR the best-performing railway in mainland UK.
The DLR is also the only fully accessible railway in the UK, with step-free access to all stations and trains.
The recent launch of an audio-visual announcement system on all trains means it is now easier to use for tourists, occasional users and those with hearing or eyesight impairments.