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16 July 2014, 11:56
C2C commuters are going to benefit from things like free wifi, thousands of new seats and new trains, following the signing of a new contract.
The Department for Transport has today (Wednesday 16 July) confirmed it has officially signed the contract for the new Essex Thameside franchise with NXET Trains Limited.
The 15-year contract will allow the company, trading as c2c, to build on the impressive performance of the franchise and deliver a host of passenger benefits, worth around £160 million.
The franchise provides vital commuter services to passengers travelling between London and the commuter hubs of Barking, Basildon, Southend and further afield.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
"The Essex Thameside franchise provides a vital service for tens of millions of passengers every year and with this deal we have ensured that they are going to see real improvements. New trains, thousands more seats, free wi-fi and millions invested in stations are just some of the benefits that commuters can look forward to.
"It's further proof that our franchising programme is back on track, playing a key role in a long-term economic plan that is driving forward our economy and benefitting hard-working people."
The new franchise will deliver a host of passenger benefits, including 17 new trains that will provide almost 4,800 extra seats. The operator has also committed to more than 25,000 additional seats for morning peak time passengers every week by the end of the contract. Other improvements include free wi-fi, an enhanced compensation scheme and more than £30 million invested in improving stations, including Fenchurch Street and Barking.