Transport Committee praises Open Access Rail

Our Economic Bulletin in December 2016 noted that, at a time when strikes and delays on our rail networks dominate the headlines, open access routes – where multiple operators run trains on the same line, thereby increasing customer choice – satisfaction rates were at their highest.

In the bulletin, Daniel Mahoney argued more routes should be opened up in this way to get rail competition back on track and offer customers a better choice.

This week the Transport Select Committee published their report on rail franchising which set the groundwork for the opening up of more routes to be run in this way.

Chair of the Committee, Louise Ellman MP, commented:

“Our report explores why the current model is no longer fit for purpose. But this will not be solved
overnight. There is no one-size-fits all approach and the Government should work with other
agencies to introduce steady, strategic reform to secure improvement.

The Department should take steps to restructure franchises and the bidding process. Open access
operators, already operating successfully, could provide opportunities for new entrants to the
franchise market. Longer term franchises should be considered, but only where the existing
operator has delivered on performance.”

The report also references the 2014 report published by the CPS, Rail’s Second Chance, which outlined proposals to increase competition and open up Britain’s rail networks.

Read the full economic bulletin here.

Date Added: Sunday 5th February 2017