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Government To Scrap Rail Franchises

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The Queens speech today , Govt to scrap rail franchising system in 2020 and replace with a system based upon " performance and reliability",  I look forward to learning of the details.

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Whether one likes or dislikes the current system, it would cost billions to dismantle it, and with a government majority of minus whatever-it-is, I can't see anything happening soon!

 

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18 minutes ago, Oldddudders said:

A sop to disgruntled travellers. Electioneering.  

 

Exactly, throwing anything out to try and get the majority so desperately wanted in the election so desperately wanted, while at the same time being to generic and meaningless that they could actually do anything.

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They've not really been franchises in the commercial sense for some years now - they are government contracts. So it's a bit of spin that just reflects the direction of travel and will no doubt be reflected in the Williams review. The more critical issue will be sorting out an effective managment structure for contracting. Getting the DfT to do it has been an abject failure - there is neither the industry experience nor the distance from short term politics needed to make strategic decisions and see them through. 

Edited by andyman7
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I guess what is needed is some form of Railway body that could take a strategic look at the railways and have the authority to make things happen. I just can't think of a suitable name though.

 

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I have seen the word licence in the first instance of the subject. Which will be the first franchise to swap?  The next one to "hand back the keys" to the DofT, or,  will LNER  on the ECML be the prototype to transition to the new way of running the show. I look forward to the release of details.

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"A new industry structure, reducing fragmentation, better aligning track and train, creating clear accountability and a greater distance between Government and running the day to day railway".

 

The Daft and the Treasury will not be happy and will do their darnest to limit that "greater distance".

 

 

 

.

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40 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

and a greater distance between Government and running the day to day railway".

So we politicians can deny any responsibility when it goes wrong because it's someone else's fault.

Edited by JeremyC
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44 minutes ago, JeremyC said:

So we politicians can deny any responsibility when it goes wrong because it's someone else's fault.

 

They do that now, though!

 

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Presumably the "performance and reliability" would have to be that of whoever will be operating the non-franchise at some time in the future ................ anyone got a crystal ball ?

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At the risk of being shot, this announcement is a load of Cummings.

Arse

 

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There's also a bit of Titanic deckchairs here. On Day 1 of a new (non)-franchise, who is running the service? The same traincrew, station staff and on-board teams, who may be more or less motivated than before. I do wonder if politicians think you can change the whole team overnight. TUPE, not to mention all logic, says you can't. And at middle and senior manager level, how much change is possible there in the short-term? There is a limited number of people who understand anything about running trains, and while they move among owners, it takes time for new brooms to sweep anything. Add in the inevitable cost reduction/increased income features HM Treasury would be pressing for, and it's hard to see much benefit for this idea. 

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The thinking is the admittance of the franchise system as  the granting of a monopoly to run a service for a period of time,  and with such monopolies in place, the franchise  system  stifles competition in the train travel market leading to excessive fares, I await the details of the replacement system, but the thinking appears to be only licenses to operate trains,  licences which can be issued , revised or withdrawn  avoiding the expensive bidding and beauty pageant  of the current system.

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Waits for proposal to sell timetable slots a la airport landing and takeoff slots.

 

Waits for everyone bidding for the peak slots and the government being left to run the rest or simply cancel them.

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Network Rail's current restructuring giving more autonomy to the routes is a step towards what I suspect the government is proposing, with a greater commercial and technical linkage between the resident TOC(s) and the corresponding sector of NR. In some ways, it is a hark back to the changes that BR underwent in 1957, when the Regions were given greater independence from the British Railways Board, with their own engineering and operating departments. 

 

Jim

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Once again  mp,s showing they have no idea how to run anything DAFT is as bad, BR not a good idea ,so what will happen ,who knows its a complete utter mess.

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Radical thought here, but they could maybe put some railway managers in charge, rather than civil servants?

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3 minutes ago, James Harrison said:

Radical thought here, but they could maybe put some railway managers in charge, rather than civil servants?

Sadly in BR days the opposite happened, Government put in external Chairmen who within a short time were accused of going native. Bob Reid Mk 1 was a railwayman, and he survived about a decade, I think, but the degree of interference from DTp (as it was then called) was silly. And his great idea of creating Sectors, which had indeed overturned Regions that were pretty much Big 4 in nature, thereby creating an industry that made sense, was abandoned on the recommendation of merchant bankers and lawyers when Privatisation was called for. Railways remain a Government plaything. 

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4 hours ago, woodenhead said:

Waits for proposal to sell timetable slots a la airport landing and takeoff slots.

 

Waits for everyone bidding for the peak slots and the government being left to run the rest or simply cancel them.

Easy to overcome, just sell the slots in fixed packages that include whatever mix of peak and off-peak services are required. Also, make the fines for cancelling severe enough to create a real deterrent.

 

Also, of course, if an operator had only peak slots, there's the question of what to do with the stock in between the peaks. Pay the off-peak operator to "store" it perhaps?

 

We already see 8 and 12-car trains on services that only need 4-cars simply because there's nowhere convenient to put the spare units if you detach them. 

 

John

Edited by Dunsignalling
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This might take a while.  The franchise system has been around long enough to get entrenched which means it will be difficult to disenfranchise each company and turn it into something entirely different but compatible with the foibles of NR which assumedly remains .  If that is ever possible! :(

       Brian.

Edited by brianusa
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7 minutes ago, brianusa said:

This might take a while.  The franchise system has been around long enough to get entrenched which means it will be difficult to disenfranchise each company and turn it into something entirely different but compatible with the foibles of NR which assumedly remains .  If that is ever possible! https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_sad.png

       Brian.

What foibles of NR?

 

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13 hours ago, lmsforever said:

Once again  mp,s showing they have no idea how to run anything DAFT is as bad, BR not a good idea ,so what will happen ,who knows its a complete utter mess.

MPs , or the DafT?

 

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Sounds to me like they are not changing anything...just renaming it.

A bit like the unemployment figures constantly changing in the 1980s not because there are more/less people out of work but because the way they are calculated kept changing.

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