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

 
">

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Three Bridges depot nears completion for arrival of Class 700s

17/04/2015Three Bridges depot nears completion for arrival of Class 700s

The hi-tech Thameslink depot at Three Bridges in Crawley will be ready to receive Class 700 Desiro City trains this summer for testing and traini... more >
DB Schenker launches carbon neutral rail freight

17/04/2015DB Schenker launches carbon neutral rail freight

DB Schenker has become the first company in the UK to offer their customers carbon neutral rail freight. Eco Neutral from DB Schenker Rail U... more >
RAIB investigating another incident of a container falling from a train

17/04/2015RAIB investigating another incident of a container falling from a train

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has announced it is investigating the second incident of a container being blown off a freight trai... more >

editor's comment

01/03/2015An interior and exterior refresh

Welcome to this edition of Rail Technology Magazine, which you will have seen by now has a brand new look, feel and overall design.  Over the past 15 years, RTM has been the independent trade journal for the rail industry, focusing not just on technology but also on people, policy, construction, IT, rail recruitment and much else besides.  We decided it was time to overhaul the way the magazine looks, to signpost readers ... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

featured articles

View all News

interviews

Laying the foundation for a digital railway

01/03/2015Laying the foundation for a digital railway

Craig Ellis, Network Rail Telecoms head of technology & engineering, talks about the development and deployment of the FTNx network and the f... more >
Rail safety performance and trends

01/03/2015Rail safety performance and trends

The RSSB has released its high-level Overview of Safety Performance for the calendar year 2014. RTM discussed the results with George Bearfield, ... more >
Keeping the Caledonian Sleeper as fresh as can be

01/03/2015Keeping the Caledonian Sleeper as fresh as can be

Serco is soon to take over the operation of the Caledonian Sleeper service between Scotland and London, but has kept on Alstom as fleet maintaine... more >

last word

Northern and TPE ITTs give much ‘cause for optimism’

Northern and TPE ITTs give much ‘cause for optimism’

Andrew Allen, policy analyst at the Campaign for Better Transport, looks at how the new Invitations to Tender for the Northern and TPE franchises... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

More needs to be done as containers ‘blown away’

17/04/2015More needs to be done as containers ‘blown away’

The RAIB is currently investigating two cases of empty containers being blown of freight trains by high winds in Cumbria and Lincolnshire –... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

UKRIA banners-05

rail industry events

Railtex 2015

12 May 2015 10:00

Railtex is the UK's leading rail exhibition covering railway equipment, systems and services &n...

read more >

Railtex 2015

13 May 2015 10:00

Railtex is the UK's leading rail exhibition covering railway equipment, systems and services &n...

read more >

Railtex 2015

14 May 2015 10:00

Railtex is the UK's leading rail exhibition covering railway equipment, systems and services &n...

read more >

Elmia Nordic Rail 2015

06 Oct 2015

Nordic Rail is the only dedicated railway exhibition in Scandinavia. It's a fair for companies,...

read more >
view all events

back

April 2015

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10

comment

Making the grade: FTNx will yield an asset-rich rail industry with crucial commercial and safety benefits

01/03/2015Making the grade: FTNx will yield an asset-rich rail industry with crucial commercial and safety benefits

Mike Hewitt, head of next generation networks at AlanDick Communications, explains why the UK rail industry’s transition to an FTNx network... more >
Maximising security, improving safety

01/03/2015Maximising security, improving safety

Successfully tackling theft and other types of route crime can have a massive impact on the smooth running of the rail network. Having won the 20... more >
Big data risk analysis for rail

01/03/2015Big data risk analysis for rail

Dr Coen van Gulijk, reader in Railway Safety at the University of Huddersfield, and Marcus Dacre, the Safety Risk Assessment Manager at RSSB, dis... more >
Reaping the benefits of collaboration

01/03/2015Reaping the benefits of collaboration

Suzanne O’Keane, community manager for rail and transport at Achilles, says that RISQS is ahead of the game when it comes to collaboration.... more >