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Report on East Coast line shows the need for franchising reform

12 September 2018

The Transport Select Committee's report into the Intercity East Coast Franchise, published today (12 September), shows that the rail franchising system is in dire need of reform, says Campaign for Better Transport.

Darren Shirley, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said:

"The deeply flawed franchising process was at the root of the problems on the East Coast line. The Government needs to ensure whatever follows East Coast puts the passenger first, and it is crucial they are involved in decision-making."

"The Government's intended review of rail franchising cannot come soon enough for long-suffering passengers, whose needs should be put front and centre."

For further information please contact the press office on 020 3746 2235 or ‏communications@bettertransport.org.uk‏.

Notes for editors

1) The Transport Select Committee's report into the Intercity East Coast Franchise can be read online.

2) The Transport Select Committee's report states: "Given the problems on these franchises and the possibility of franchise failure, we conclude that the Government has not found the right balance between the risk of franchise failure and return they might obtain from encouraging ambitious bids. We recommend that the Department revisit its approach to franchise failure, which should be embedded in how they assess the risk and feasibility of each bid."

3) Reports that the Government is planning a major review of rail franchising can be found in the Financial Times and elsewhere. Campaign for Better Transport wrote to the Prime Minister in June calling for just such a review.

4) Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).

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