Britain’s Railways - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:20 pm on 24th May 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness Vere of Norbiton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 6:20 pm, 24th May 2021

Bring back the Young-Major plan for rail greatness is what I say. I can absolutely confirm all those things to my noble friend. We are retaining the original objectives of privatisation to make sure that passenger services are awarded following a fair competition. We had to strip out some of the complexity of those competitions to allow train operators to bid on a simpler basis, and we think we have achieved that. We will open up new opportunities for private sector involvement where we can.

As I have said, the capital cost of passenger and freight rolling stock will be borne by the private sector. There will be a certain element of a guiding mind when it comes to a strategic intervention on the rolling stock, but this will not preclude train operating companies purchasing their own rolling stock. Obviously, we are replacing the franchises with this more commercially sustainable model of a passenger service contract, which will ensure that we get the right amount of innovation into the system and passengers benefit.