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Railways: Franchises

Volume 503: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the value for money of operating rail passenger services in the public sector after each passenger franchise expires. (309324)

Under current legislation, the Secretary of State has the ability to step in to secure continuity of train service provision only if a train operator becomes unable to meet the terms of its franchise agreement. However, this can only be a temporary arrangement as there is no provision for train services to be permanently retained in the public sector without a change to legislation.

Therefore the Department for Transport has made no assessment of the value for money of operating rail passenger services in the public sector on a permanent basis after each passenger franchise expires.