Latest Rail News

17.01.13

DfT not ready to commit to franchise devolution

Rail minister Simon Burns has told RTM that while the devolution of franchising decisions and powers to regional authorities is “in principle a sensible idea” and a key recommendation of the Brown review, the DfT still has a lot more work to do before it will commit to it.

Although there was a somewhat underwhelmed reaction to the Brown report in some quarters as not being radical enough, one area where it received praise was in its recommendations on devolution.

Pteg, Railfuture and London TravelWatch were just some of the organisations whose reaction to the report focused on devolution.

But Burns told RTM during his visit to the site of Network Rail's new Rail Operating Centre and Workforce Development Centre in York on Wednesday: “What I can say is that in principle, Brown was very much in favour of devolution and in principle, we think it is a sensible idea.

“There is work going on in a number of parts of the country – including at TfL, and in the north of England – which are keen to be able to participate in and compete for franchises. We will consider in due course the recommendations of Brown; we will also consider any [devolution] proposals that are being put together, but it is far too premature at the moment to give a view as to what will happen. These things have got to be looked at and we are not going to rush into anything, because we’ve got to get it right.”

This was a notably less gung-ho position to that taken by his ministerial colleague Norman Baker at the ‘Devolving Rail to the Regions’ event held at Manchester Town Hall last summer (see below), who said: “The move towards devolution and localism is not a fad, not a sound bite or a headline. It is absolutely serious, and as far as I’m concerned, a one-way street.” 

There is a strong expectation that the Northern and Transpennine franchises will be merged, with significant control given to a consortium of northern PTEs with input from local authorities, and much behind-the-scenes work has been done developing a ‘Rail in the North Executive’.

While devolution has been on hold, the authorities have been pressing ahead on a broader Rail in the North strategy, covering far more issues than just franchising.

The West Midlands transport authority, Centro, has also expressed an interest in commissioning and managing its local rail services.

Pteg support unit director Jonathan Bray told RTM last month: “When we met the Secretary of State, he said nothing had changed in terms of the Government’s attitude to potential devolution…we’re still doing a lot of work on the technical and legal issues around devolution of the Northern and Transpennine routes as a combined franchise.”

For more coverage of Burns' visit to York and the site of the Rail Operating Centre and Workforce Development Centre, and his opening of the new turntable, click here.

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

753 IMAG0068

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

Please enter the code shown in the image into the box below
(note: this is case sensitive)



Can't read this one? Try another

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Lack of contactless payment on National Rail in London ‘will cause confusion’

28/07/2014Lack of contactless payment on National Rail in London ‘will cause confusion’

London’s passenger watchdog says the inconsistent rolling-out of contactless payment – which is being extended to the Tube, DLR and O... more >
Siemens starts UK component production for Thameslink trains

25/07/2014Siemens starts UK component production for Thameslink trains

Production of high-tech electrical components and assemblies for the new fleet of Thameslink Class 700 trains is underway at the Siemens factory ... more >
HS2 to boost Scottish economy by £3bn

25/07/2014HS2 to boost Scottish economy by £3bn

Scotland could receive a £3bn economic boost through HS2, by bringing it closer to England’s main cities, transport secretary Patrick... more >

editor's comment

01/07/2014Too many to mention

The RTM team has been very busy since the last edition went to press, at events big and small. We were there at Infrarail and Rail Live, of course, two great and inspiring shows – as well as the more research-focused Next Generation Rail. Then there was Gen Y Rail, the series of competitions put on by RTM’s own UK Rail Industry Training Trust. That fantastic series of events reached its conclusion in June with a national fin... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

featured articles

View all News

interviews

Victoria Station Upgrade

01/07/2014Victoria Station Upgrade

Craig Prangley, project director of the Taylor Woodrow/BAM Nuttall joint venture, and Glenn Keelan, programme manager at London Underground, give a... more >
Delivering the North Doncaster Chord

01/07/2014Delivering the North Doncaster Chord

Adrian Elliott, Alliance manager on the North Doncaster Chord at Network Rail, talked to RTM about delivering the new railway flyover. On 26 Jun... more >
Bringing innovation funding together for a brighter future

01/07/2014Bringing innovation funding together for a brighter future

David Clarke, director of FutureRailway, says the programme is building on the success of the Enabling Innovation Team (EIT) thanks to a new part... more >

last word

Great time to be a rail engineer

Great time to be a rail engineer

Phillip Hodgson, rail and property department manager at Matchtech, discusses the opportunities available for rail engineers in CP5. There was a... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Responsible Business Practice Royal Gala Awards

25/07/2014Responsible Business Practice Royal Gala Awards

Guest blog by Chris Leech MBE, Business in the Community The huge positive impact businesses are making to society and the environment were ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

UKRIA banners-05

rail industry events

Steam on the Underground: 150 years of the Hammersmith & City Line

02 Aug 2014

Celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Hammersmith and City line with an exciting opportunity t...

read more >

Steam on the Underground: 150 years of the Hammersmith & City Line

09 Aug 2014

Celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Hammersmith and City line with an exciting opportunity t...

read more >

Steam: Rickmansworth to Chesham

16 Aug 2014

Enjoy a stunning steam train ride on the Metropolitan Line between Rickmansworth and Chesham. O...

read more >

Waterfront Rail Conference: The Future of Railway in Britain

11 Sep 2014

Sharon Hedges, passenger manager, will be presenting to the Waterfront Rail Conference about &l...

read more >

ASPECT 2015 – IRSE Conference

15 Sep 2014

ASPECT is the major international conference organised by the IRSE every 2-4 years with papers ...

read more >
view all events

back

July 2014

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
30 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16

High Speed Rail – Vision into Reality

16/07/2014 18:00 - 20:30

The IET, Parsons Brinckerhoff and HS2 Ltd are collaborating on a regional programme of knowledge dissemination on high speed rail across the UK

17 18 19

The 2014 Festival of Modern Tramways

19/07/2014 - 20/07/2014

Now in its twenty-sixth year, the Festival features the highest quality model tramway layouts and displays. There are sales stands to supply the modeller with all the necessary materials, kits, drawings, photographs, books etc., for model tram building. There is a competition, with a trophy given for the best model tram of the show (no competition entry fee, just bring along your models).

20

The 2014 Festival of Modern Tramways

19/07/2014 - 20/07/2014

Now in its twenty-sixth year, the Festival features the highest quality model tramway layouts and displays. There are sales stands to supply the modeller with all the necessary materials, kits, drawings, photographs, books etc., for model tram building. There is a competition, with a trophy given for the best model tram of the show (no competition entry fee, just bring along your models).

21 22 23 24 25 26

Listen to London - The Future of London Underground

26/07/2014 10:00 - 14:00

27
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10

comment

A slow train to the future?

01/07/2014A slow train to the future?

Malcolm Dowden, consultant at Charles Russell LLP, updates RTM on the HS2 legislation. Parliamentary scrutiny of the first stage of HS2 has just... more >
BIM at New Street

01/07/2014BIM at New Street

Mace is working as delivery partner with Network Rail for the redevelopment of Birmingham New Street Station. Paul Dalton, senior project manager f... more >
Enery audits to hit all businesses

01/07/2014Enery audits to hit all businesses

The government’s decision to implement energy audits on all non-SMEs before 5 December 2015 will cause a headache for every company relying... more >
Making All Jobs Greener

01/07/2014Making All Jobs Greener

Jonathan Nobbs, corporate network and development manager at the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA), discusses the All... more >