Hitachi's UK plant looks to the world market
Sliding seats could enable passenger trains to carry goods
A1 No 60163 Tornado does 100mph
Rail Alliance drives Midlands Engine
GB Railfreight to implement Ideagen safety software
UAV survey company Bridgeway Aerial takes off
Fire at Euston Station causes nationwide rail disruption
DB Cargo UK confirms job cuts and reform
Subsea cable fault detection demonstrated to rail industry
HS2 rolling stock procurement moves forward
Britain’s rail companies are proposing a radical alternative to the current franchising system that would better join up the railway, improve accountability for passengers and result in easier, better value fares for all.
The proposals to the government’s rail review, independently chaired by Keith Williams, are informed by conversations with passengers, businesses and communities across the country and set out the building blocks of a future system. They would see a new independent organising body put in charge of the industry, acting as the glue that binds it together so that everyone is working to meet the same customer-centric goals. The organising body would drive up accountability and standards, helping to end the ‘blame game’ when things go wrong and issuing penalties when rail companies fall short.
With this change, the current one size fits all franchise system would be replaced with different types of services designed to suit the needs of different groups of passengers.
On some mass-commuter routes
On some mass-commuter routes there would be democratically accountable, TfL-style single-branded concessions, where an integrated transport body is given more devolved control and rail companies are better integrated to deliver services for passengers.
On long-distance routes
On long-distance routes, where appropriate, multiple operators would compete for passengers’ business, making services far more responsive to their needs. Whether its quicker more comfortable journeys or faster Wi-Fi, demand would shape the market – with passengers able to vote with their feet if they wanted change.
On other routes
On other routes where passengers have less choice about how they travel, there would be tough targets and incentives for train companies to deliver the outcomes their customers want, instead of today’s tightly specified inputs-based contracts. This would give operators the freedom to innovate to improve, while only being rewarded for good performance.
The new system would be underpinned by an easier to use, better value range of fares, delivered by updating decades old regulations. This could see pay-as-you-go with a price cap introduced on commuter services across the country. It would also enable greater local control over fares in devolved areas and better integration of rail fares with those for other modes of transport.
For long-distance routes, updating fares regulations around peak and off-peak travel would mean more flexible ticket pricing, incentivising more people to travel while spreading demand more evenly across the day – potentially reducing overcrowding by up to a third on the busiest services.
With a fully reformed fares system, for the first time passengers would benefit from a guarantee that they would pay the best fares for their journey, every time, with no need to split ticket.
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2019 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.