ASLEF condemns new rail franchise schedule

10 October 2014

The Department for Transport’s Prior information notice (PIN) which sets out the rail franchising timetable from 2014 was published today. Ten franchises have now been granted direct awards or interim contracts.

The document restates the aims of rail franchising one of which is to ‘deliver value for passengers and taxpayer.’ In addition the publication sets out the details of the market ‘opportunities’ offered by the process and details of how to become involved with it.

ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said ‘the publication of the new franchising timetable demonstrates the reality of where rail operations in the UK are two years on from the West Coast franchise debacle. Despite reviews and reports from Mr Laidlaw and Mr Brown we have learned nothing. It’s business as usual.’

Mick added ‘ten train operating companies now have the Department for Transport over a barrel with these direct awards or limbo contracts offering nothing beyond the short term. There is no risk for them, no incentive to invest and they can continue to cream off profits from public subsidy.This hardly represents value for money for passengers and taxpayers.’

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