Awards, contracts & appointments

30.04.19

Ditch franchising model and put organising body in charge, says rail industry

The rail industry has called for an end to the current franchising model in favour of multiple operators on mass-commuter routes and for a new independent body to be put in charge of the sector.

In its submission to the Williams review, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) said rail companies were “calling time on short-term fixes” with a new radial plan for a “generational system upgrade” for the railway.

The proposals would replace the current franchising model with TfL-style networks on mass-commuter routes as the RDG suggests that local authorities could control commuter routes, overseeing timetables and organisation of railway services just like London’s current model.

The current one-size-fits-all franchise system would be replaced with different types of services designed individually, with long-distance routes having multiple competing operators, and other routes utilising “customer-focused, public service contracts.”

A new independent organising body would be put in charge of the industry and sit outside day-to-day politics, “acting as the glue that binds it together so that everyone is working to meet the same customer-centric goals,” and “ending the blame game when things go wrong.” 

RDG chief executive Paul Plummer said: “These proposals call time on short term fixes and set out the once-in-a-generation system upgrade the railway needs if it is to help the country prosper over the next 25 years.

“We want to move forward with a rail system that is more focused on customers, more responsive to local communities and more accountable, letting rail companies deliver what people want in each area of the country and rebuilding trust between the industry and passengers.”

The Williams Review, due to be published this summer, has received multiple high-profile submissions in recent weeks, and the RDG’s proposals echo a speech given by Plummer last month in which he called for a new organising body for the industry to stop it “being used as a political football.”

Last week, Virgin Trains put forward radical proposals for an airline-style model which would see standing on trains abolished and a modified franchise system integrated with local government very similar to the RDG’s plan.

The proposals also align with comments from Keith Williams, the man leading the review, where he said there was no “one-size-fits-all” solution for the industry, and that the DfT’s role in the industry would need to change.

The RMT, which criticised Virgin’s proposals in a nearly identical manner, said the RDG’s “rail franchise free for all” would lead to a “transport nightmare” with private operators slugging it on out on routes on a slot-by-slot basis.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

New train station part of £218m Chelmsford regeneration

20/08/2019New train station part of £218m Chelmsford regeneration

As part of a major £218m regeneration of Chelmsford, a new train station is set to be constructed to improve transport infrastructure in th... more >
Mid-Cheshire Line speed increase after £800k rail upgrade

19/08/2019Mid-Cheshire Line speed increase after £800k rail upgrade

Following the completion of an £800,000 investment into new railway tracks, passenger trains operating on the Mid-Cheshire Line betwee... more >
North of England leaders demand ‘Northern Budget’ to boost region

16/08/2019North of England leaders demand ‘Northern Budget’ to boost region

Key leaders from across the North of England have called for Government commitment to a ‘Northern Budget’ which could be used to deli... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

12/08/2019Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

Anna- Jane Hunter, is a ‘proud northerner’ and is passionate about continuing the investment and success story of rail across the North.  She plays a key role in working with government and northern leaders to enable the network to carry on thriving. We caught up with Anna-Jane, for her expertise and insight into connecti... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >