Rail franchises would be longer, more flexible and more responsive to the needs of passengers, and provide better value for taxpayers, under proposals set out today by Rail Minister Theresa Villiers.
The proposals provide for franchises to run for 15 years as standard, so long as performance levels are maintained. In return for more private investment in the railways, operators would get greater commercial freedom to innovate in the way they deliver services. The reforms will also set tough requirements for train operators to deliver on passenger satisfaction. Operators could face being stripped of their contracts if they fail to meet those requirements.