Rail passengers deserve a more reliable, more efficient service. We will deliver it by ending the one-size-fits-all approach of franchising and bringing closer together the best of the public and private sector.
The Transport Secretary has announced an evolution in rail, outlining the future shape of our rail franchising system:
- We are transforming the franchising system by introducing from 2020 the first of the new generation of long-term regional partnerships on the East Coast Mainline. We are rolling out joint teams to run day to day operations across the South Eastern and East Midlands network. We are also splitting up the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise in 2021, and consulting on a new West of England franchise.
- We have committed to exploring opportunities to restore capacity lost under the Beeching and British Rail cuts of the 1960s and 1970s. The Government is already delivering the biggest rail programme since the Victorian times and is planning to reopen the railway line from Oxford to Cambridge. Our new development programme will identify new economic opportunities that offer good value.
- At the heart of the new strategy is a commitment to improve passenger experience across the network and changes have been made to extend passengers rights. We have also pledged to introduce new technologies that have the potential to reduce crowding and improve train punctuality for passengers.