[holding answer 14 June 2006]: The Department do regulate some rail fares but many are a commercial matter for the operator concerned. We are discussing with train operators what might be done to simplify passengers’ choice of fares. We are also discussing with National Rail Enquiries how fares information might be better presented.
[holding answer 5 June 2006]: The timetable specification formed part of the invitation to tender (ITT) for the Greater Western franchise, issued by the Strategic Rail Authority in June 2005. The Department intends to make this public once the franchise agreement has been placed on the public register, and is working to do this as soon as possible.
[holding answer 17 May 2006]: Network Rail and the train operators are taking forward the installation of CCTV at stations as part of an ongoing programme of work. Franchise agreements already include funding to make improvements to station facilities and this would include the installation of CCTV where appropriate. About a third of the 2,500 stations on the national network already have CCTV in place.
Network Rail is a private sector company, so decisions on bonuses paid to its directors and other employees are a matter for it. Network Rail’s preliminary results for the year to 31 March 2006 and accompanying press notice provide information on bonuses and are available on the company’s website, www.networkrail.co.uk.
Reading borough council has submitted to the Department a local transport plan major scheme bid for Reading Station. Decisions on major scheme bids will need to take account of the advice from regions on their priorities within regional funding allocations, which we are currently considering.
The Department is a member, alongside Network Rail and the Government office for the South East, of the Reading Station Partnership Board which is led by the local authority. Departmental officials last attended the board when the finalised business case for the enhanced capacity elements of the project was presented.
The Department continues to discuss the project with relevant parties, especially with regard to the funding of the capital element of the project. In the invitation to tender for the South Western franchise, bidders have been invited to include indicative proposals for the costs of operating AirTrack services, assuming the necessary infrastructure is in place.