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RAIL


Digital editor Tom Newcombe compiles the latest news from buyingbusinesstravel.com


Northern Powerhouse receives £1.2bn rail boost


AIRPORTS


THE GOVERNMENT’S NORTHERN POWERHOUSE INITIATIVE has been given a boost with the announcement of new contracts for two rail franchises. The Northern franchise has been awarded to Arriva and the Transpennine Express (TPE) franchise to First. The Department for


Artist’s impression of proposed expansion at Heathrow airport


BUSINESSES ANGRY OVER ‘GUTLESS’


RUNWAY DELAY BUSINESSES AND TRAVEL ORGANISATIONS have reacted in anger at the government’s delay in reaching a decision on airport expansion until “at least” summer 2016. Prime Minister David Cameron had promised a decision on whether to take the recommendation of Sir Howard Davies’s Airports Commission and build a third runway at Heathrow or a second runway at Gatwick by the end of 2015. The delay means that all the shortlisted options are still on the table. Business groups widely criticised the move and said further delays will damage the economy and leave Britain further behind on airport capacity. British Chamber of Commerce director general, John Longworth, said businesses would see it as a “gutless move by a government that promised a clear decision on a new runway by the end of the year”. Terry Scuoler, chief executive of manufacturers’ organisation EEF, said: “By avoiding a tough decision, despite a well evidenced shortlist, the government has again dithered and avoided the issue. Industry is fed up and dismayed by the continued excuses.” CBI director general, Carolyn Fairbairn, said delaying the decision “on an issue of critical importance to the future prosperity of the UK is deeply disappointing”. And GTMC chief executive Paul Wait said while the


government’s ‘Exporting is Great’ initiative supports UK exports, “increased targets can only be reached if UK businesses have the level of aviation capacity needed to export their goods to a global market”.  See Westminster Watch, p48


6 BBT JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016


Transport said this deal will see the north of England and Scotland undergo the “biggest transformation in decades” after a range of improvements were promised.


The deal will see more than 500 new carriages, with space for 40,000 extra passengers at the busiest


RAIL


CWT report finds buyers’ priorities for 2016


A TRENDS REPORT FROM CARLSON WAGONLIT TRAVEL (CWT) suggests 2016 will be “the year of the traveller”, as companies embrace new technology and ways of working to improve traveller satisfaction.


The study includes a survey of more than 1,000 travel managers worldwide. It finds that safety and security will be high on the agenda, with over 80 per cent of those surveyed expecting high impact from these issues on their programmes. Additionally, 63 per cent of managers expect mobile and wearable technology to have a large effect, along with 53 per cent expecting and looking for more data on traveller behaviour and programme performance. Additional trends found to be key to traveller satisfaction include the sharing economy, virtual payment and big data.


Britain has a clear choice: get on with growth at Gatwick, or yet more delays and inertia with an illegal Heathrow scheme Gatwick airport CEO Stewart Wingate


BUYINGBUSINESSTRAVEL.COM


times, and more than 2,000 extra services a week delivered. Both franchises are due to start on April 1. The Northern franchise will run for nine years, with seven for the TPE franchise. The two train operators will oversee £1.2 billion of investment into the railways. Other pledges in the announcement include free wifi on TPE services and stations by 2018, and on Northern services and 36 stations by 2019; and a new direct Liverpool to Glasgow service from December 2018.  See feature, p110


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