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Railways: Franchises

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 17 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 12 February 2009, Official Report, column 2132W, on railways: franchises, what research his Department has (a) undertaken and (b) evaluated on assumptions about (i) economic growth and (ii) passenger volumes in the franchise agreements for these lines in the last 12 months. (261513)

The Department for Transport monitors revenues on all franchises, and forms an internal view about likely future trends as part of its routine monitoring of franchisees. The Department is also carrying out research looking at a large sample of passenger flows across England, Wales and Scotland in order to improve our understanding of how economic and other factors have influenced the growth in rail patronage in recent years. This is due to complete at the end of 2009, and will be used to inform the Department’s forecasting work.