To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of rail franchises currently in operation are held, in whole or in part, by companies wholly or partly owned by foreign governments; and what percentage of total ownership of rail franchises this represents.
Ownership by non-UK governments accounts for 29% of the DfT-managed franchise market (based on notional share of passenger revenues during 2017/18). This calculation excludes train operators other than DfT-managed franchisees.
All franchise bidders and operators are required to be UK tax registered firms, registered with Companies House and at arms-length from owners. Train operating companies pay tax here in the UK and, most importantly, have been awarded franchises through open competitions precisely because they offer the best deal for UK passengers and taxpayers. Private sector franchisees continue to support key investments to improve services to passengers, including expanded car parking provision, station upgrades, and major new train fleets.