Rail franchising changed to boost profits

03 January 2017

The government today announced that it is to change rail franchise contracts to ensure train operating companies achieve sufficient profits. The amended contracts will result in four of the next seven passenger rail franchises being delayed by more than a year.

Department for Transport managing director of passenger services Peter Wilkinson is reported to have told a City bank that the department will ease rail franchise finances to support train companies because of the economic downturn.

ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said ‘I really do wonder what it will take for the Department for Transport to accept that its rail franchising system has failed. I am frankly amazed that the DfT is seriously suggesting using even more taxpayers money to prop up train company profits on the day passengers are being hit with inflation busting fare increases.’

Mick added ‘the government’s failure to develop a credible and coherent rail policy is deeply disappointing for those of us who care about Britain’s railways. It’s really bad news for passengers, bad for staff and bad for investment. You can’t control what you don’t own. Today’s announcement demonstrates that we need an integrated and publicly owned railway now more than ever.’
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