Railways: Franchises

Department for Transport written question – answered on 30th June 2021.

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Photo of Julian Sturdy Julian Sturdy Conservative, York Outer

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the annual cost to the Government was to operate the outgoing railways franchise model in each of the last five years.

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

The Office of Rail and Road publishes annual statistics on the finances of the rail industry in the UK, which show the value of the Government’s financial support provided in each financial year. The publication provides data up to and including the 2019/20 financial year and is available on the following link at:


The previous commercial model for rail franchising was superseded in March 2020 (at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK) with the introduction of Emergency Measures Agreements with train operators. Under those agreements, and their successors, most financial risk on franchised passenger train operations has been borne by the Government.

The Department published statistics on operational support payments, and fees paid to operators, under the new arrangements that have applied since March 2020. The most recent published data covers the period until early February 2021 and is available on the Government website at:


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