Latest Rail News

05.05.16

Increased open access could limit franchise service expansions, Lords warn

Increased open access services will mean existing promises to expand franchises such as reinstating Virgin services to Lincoln will no longer be honoured, peers have warned.

Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Randerson told Lord Ahmad, the Parliamentary under-secretary to the Department for Transport and the Home Office, that the increased franchising competition recommended by the Competition and Markets Authority would fill all the slots earmarked for Virgin services to Lincoln.

However, Lord Ahmad said that there will be an additional six trains from London to Lincoln and five trains the other way from May 2019, as well as the introduction of upgraded train interiors.

Lord Bradshaw pointed out that under the Railways Act 1993, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) are obliged to promote competition when deciding open access applications but not obliged to consider the interests of passengers, the public purse or subsequent franchise competitions.

Lord Ahmad replied that Patrick McLoughlin, the transport secretary, had written to the ORR asking them to “put the customer at the heart” of franchise reforms, but ruled out regulatory changes.

He said McLoughlin had also asked the ORR to show the Department for Transport the recommended changes to the current open access charging structure before any new open access agreements were granted.

Labour’s Lord Harris accused the government of “conniving with the train operating companies” after another Labour peer, Lord Rosser, said that improvements to passenger compensation arrangements recommended by the ORR following a super-complaint from Which? were being delayed until October 2017.

Lord Ahmad said that he hadn’t read the ORR’s report but he would look into it and write to Lord Rosser about it.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

Rail industry Focus

  • 02/11/2019Monica Barbosa: Women In Rail

    Director of business development and communications at Xrail, Monica Barbosa, thinks women are missing out on exciting opportunities because the lack of gender diversity in the rail industry.
  • 01/11/2019The dangers of fatigues

    Working long hours, poor health, too little sleep, a demanding job and more can all make us tired and affect our mental and physical performance – and when we’re fatigued we make more...
View all News

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 >

'the sleepers' blog

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to in... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

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 would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >