The Department for Transport announced on 9th December that the next Northern franchise, starting on 1st April 2016, will be run by Arriva.
Richard Morris, Chairman of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line, said 'we can expect meaningful and quality improvements from Arriva who have a good track record and ran services here over 10 years ago, with promised new trains, extra services, improved stations, connectivity and improved ticketing and Wi-Fi availability' he continued ' The Friends look forward to working with the new operator to build on these proposals'
In detail, thanks partly to FoSCL's lobbying of the DfT, there will be two extra services in each direction on Sundays, starting in 2017. On weekdays, from 2019 there will be an extra mid-afternoon departure from Leeds to plug the 3-hour gap between the 1449 and the 1806, with return from Carlisle around 2000. We believe this is entirely due to the case that FoSCL put to the DfT for improvements in this respect. We hope that the new Train Operating Company may bring forward the start date for both of these.