The report of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee into the purpose and effectiveness of franchising of passenger services.
This document was published on 25th October 2006 by House of Commons Select Committee.
It was written by House of Commons Select Committee.
The original document format was PDF File, and comprised 288 pages.The original document can be found here.
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"Passenger rail franchising, far from being a model capable of delivering quality rail services for the next half century, appears to be a policy muddle. For that reason, it is vital that the Government's new long-term strategy for the railways, due to be published in the summer of 2007, should identify the needs of rail passengers in the future as well as the structure that will be best able to fulfil them.
In the short term, we welcome the Government taking steps to link franchise specifications to strategies for the network, but still more needs to be done to imbed the process into the broader context of transport and regional policy. We also welcome improvements in the willingness to consult with passengers and local and regional authorities, but we recommend further improvements. The Government must ensure that the re-franchising process becomes less costly and concentrates on core requirements only. The Government must ensure that innovation is rewarded, and it should take action to encourage new entrants to the rail franchising market.
With the completion of the recent re-mapping exercise, the length and size of franchises is broadly right. Further change should be avoided unless compelling reasons arise. The Government should, however, move towards medium length franchise contracts of around fifteen years in order to bring about greater stability, to increase the willingness to invest, and to reduce the relative cost of re-franchising.
We found little conclusive evidence in support of vertical integration of the rail network in general, but it may be a useful option for some self-contained regional networks. We recommend that pilots be carried out on such regional networks."
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Does the franchise model just need technical changes or would a concession system be better?
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