Northern Rail Franchise

Department for Transport written question – answered at on 25 October 2019.

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Photo of Faisal Rashid Faisal Rashid Labour, Warrington South

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress has been made on replacing the Northern Rail franchise.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

We are developing contingency plans for the replacement of the current franchise with either a new short-term management contract with Northern or the Operator of Last Resort (OLR). If we find the operator to be in default of its current contract and that default was material and not capable of remedy, we have the right to terminate the current franchise. If such a right is exercised, a decision on next steps will be based on a full and rigorous analysis into what delivers the best outcomes for passengers and taxpayers and what would best enable the implementation of the forthcoming recommendations of the Williams Review.

We will take a decision once we have the full information, and will provide Parliament with a full update on these next steps at the appropriate time.

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