Latest Rail News

05.07.13

Baker to end bustitution

The Government is to put an end to the practice of rail companies profiting from ‘bustitution’, rail minister Norman Baker is to announce.

When bus replacement services are put on, the rail companies who own those bus companies can collect the Bus Service Operators Grant, as well as compensation from Network Rail when engineering forces the closure of the track.

The move could save the taxpayer £2m, the Telegraph reported.

Baker said: “I have been pushing for some time to end this highly questionable practice.

"It is simply not right that the public purse has been subsidising these replacement services when Network Rail already offers compensation when trains are not running.

“When rail passengers buy a train ticket they expect to see a train not a bus, and I would hope this change would push train operating companies to reduce further their over reliance on buses and give passengers exactly what they have paid for.”

The responsibility for how the Grant will be spent will be devolved to local authorities.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

John   05/07/2013 at 14:30

Apart from Virgin, they are nearly all Bus Companys!! Of course thay have been ripping us all off for years and paying themselves. We've been telling the Govenment for long enough!!

Roger   05/07/2013 at 20:34

I expect the TOCs will just demand higher compensation from Network Rail. But with luck, this might make NR reconsider their engineering works total shutdown policy and the end of the five day railway.

Ricp   06/07/2013 at 14:15

So many bustitutions would not be required if as in BR days Drive' signed the diversionary routes, or if they cannot pass out all crew then ensure their senior drivers are passed over these routes so the can not only drive but also act as a pilotman if required. This must be part of the franchise agreement.

Tonyw1960   08/07/2013 at 09:30

If bus operators running rail replacement services can't claim BSOG, their costs will be higher and therefore their prices will be higher to the rail industry. I therefore suspect that the Government will find that what it saves in one hand it will end up paying out with another.

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