Railways: Franchises

House of Lords written question – answered on 12th February 2014.

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Photo of Lord Bradshaw Lord Bradshaw Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to promote competition on Anglo-Scottish train services.

Photo of Baroness Kramer Baroness Kramer Minister of State (Department for Transport)

The Government is committed to the benefits of competition in the provision of passenger rail services. The primary way that it seeks to achieve this is through fair and open competitions for franchises. There are a number of such franchises that provide Anglo-Scottish services: CrossCountry; TransPennine; InterCity West Coast; InterCity East Coast, which is currently being competed; and ScotRail and the Caledonian Sleeper Service which are the responsibility of the Scottish Government.

The franchising programme announced by the Secretary of State for Transport on 26 March 2013, sets out the timetable for when we expect to put these franchises up for competition. The mechanisms that exist on the railway already provide for competition on Anglo-Scottish routes, both between the different franchises providing them and with other modes; and as evidenced by the level of interest in competing for these franchises. There is also provision in the Railways Act for non-franchised services to be provided by open access operators such as those that already exist on the East Coast Mainline corridor.

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