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Railways: Franchises

House of Lords written question – answered on 12th May 2011.

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Photo of Lord Bradshaw Lord Bradshaw Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to reduce the costs of tendering for railway franchises to the public purse, bidders and passengers respectively.

Photo of Earl Attlee Earl Attlee Lords Spokesperson (Department for Transport), Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The Department for Transport is taking the following steps in reducing the costs of tendering as follows:

to the public purse-increased use of departmental expertise, particularly in respect of preparation of financial information for bidders and evaluation of bids; letting longer franchises will reduce the number of franchise competitions and hence deliver savings in the ongoing cost of the refranchising programme;to bidders-simplification of the prequalification process and the scope of the components in the plans required to demonstrate capability to deliver the franchise; andto passengers-the refranchising process does not impose direct costs on passengers but the savings made to the public purse which are set out above will contribute to the overall financial sustainability of the railways and hence deliver indirect benefits to passengers.

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