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Author Topic: Who will be running the railway, and under what regime - 2022, 2025, 2030?  (Read 83 times)
grahame
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« on: September 21, 2020, 10:41:20 am »

End of Franchising - 21st September 2020

Ministers today ended rail franchising after 24 years as the first step in bringing Britain?s fragmented network back together. The new system will create a simpler, more effective structure and will take shape over the coming months. The first stage, today, is moving operators onto transitional contracts to prepare the ground for the new railway. [The transitional contracts]  pave the way for wider rail industry reform that prioritises the passenger. In 2018 Keith Williams, the chairman of Royal Mail, was asked to review the railways after a chaotic timetable change and the failure of some franchises. Today's announcement, which has his full support, is the prelude to a white paper which will respond to his recommendations. The white paper will be published when the course of the pandemic becomes clearer.

There are many positive words being spun today, but the Reshaping of British railways come with elements of risk. The rail minsiter is quoted as saying

Quote
The model of privatisation adopted 25 years ago has seen significant rises in passenger numbers, but this pandemic has proven that it is no longer working.

Our new deal for rail demands more for passengers. It will simplify people's journeys, ending the uncertainty and confusion about whether you are using the right ticket or the right train company. 

It will keep the best elements of the private sector, including competition and investment, that have helped to drive growth, but deliver strategic direction, leadership and accountability.

Passengers will have reliable, safe services on a network totally built around them. It is time to get Britain back on track.

Until passenger numbers return, significant taxpayer support will still be needed, including under the transitional contracts announced today. But the reforms will enable substantial medium and longer-term savings for taxpayers.

There is a lack of comment there on the zero carbon / green / climate  agenda, on providing good value fares for passengers, or on providing rail transport as an economic driver for the areas served even if subsidy has been needed.  Is there a risk (for example) of the simplication of fares resulting in effetive rises shoud (for example) Groupsave be simplified / standardised to the Cross Country none-product?  Will TOC-introduced super off peak fares no longer be offered?  Will lunchtime trains on branch lines be "gapped" to allow for the personal needs breaks of the crew, and perhaps reduced on Sundays to allow staff to have more family time?


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