Skip to main content

Railways: Franchises

Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport whether the subject of public ownership and operation of rail franchises will be considered in the review into improving value for money in the rail sector announced in the pre-Budget report. (307826)

The terms of reference for the study into improving the value for money of the railway have now been published on the Department for Transport’s website at:

Alongside this, the Department is also carrying out a review of the current franchising model in readiness for the retendering of the East Coast, Greater Anglia and Essex Thameside franchises during 2010.

However, the Government believe that a ‘publicly specified privately delivered’ model for passenger rail services is the most appropriate model, and believe that this model has delivered significant improvements for passengers over the last 10 years, including record reliability and customer satisfaction scores.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what costs have been incurred by (a) the Government and (b) the Strategic Rail Authority in designing and tendering rail franchises since 1996. (307827)

The costs incurred by the Department for Transport in designing and tendering rail franchises from 2005-09 is £33.8 million, while the equivalent costs for the Strategic Rail Authority from 2003-05 is £42.4 million.

The letting of franchises since 1996 has been undertaken by a number of successive agencies, namely the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising, the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority, the Strategic Rail Authority and since mid-2005, the Department for Transport. Re-franchising costs prior to 2003 were part of general business costs and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how much public subsidy has been allocated in respect of each railway franchise since 1997; and to which company in each such case. (309069)

Details of public subsidy paid to each rail franchise is published annually by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) in National Rail Trends (NRT). Copies of NRT are available in the Library of the House and on the ORR’s website at