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Railhub Archive
1996-02-05 DoT-001
Department of Transport


Sir George Young hails launch of first privatised passenger rail services

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British Rail

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Department of Transport

Sir George Young hails launch of first privatised passenger rail services

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5 February 1996
source Department of Transport
type Press release

Sir George Young, Secretary of State for Transport, marked the
historic launch of the first privatised passenger rail operations in
a ceremony at Waterloo today.

Welcoming the re-introduction of scheduled private passenger
operations after almost fifty years, Sir George commented:

"Today, for the first time in almost half a century, thousands
of people will find their regular rail services being provided by
private sector companies. I believe they will find services improving
and standards rising."

He congratulated the new franchise holders for winning the
competition to run the services, and praised the dedication and
professionalism of all the individuals and organisations that enabled
the handover to proceed so smoothly. Sir George also presented the
seals of the companies to the Managing Directors of the new
franchisees, and received in return copies of their new Passenger's
Charters. Welcoming the new Passenger's Charters he said:

"Their new and improved Passenger's Charters are more than a
symbolic gesture. They are proof positive of the privatised railways'
determination to provide passengers with a better service. Plans for
improved rolling stock and new services, delivered for less subsidy
from the taxpayer over the life of the franchise; these are the early
fruits of privatisation."

Moving on to the progress of the privatisation programme as a whole,
he continued:

"Add to this the privatisation achievements we have seen in other
parts of the industry over the past four months and you see the
beginnings of a virtuous circle emerging; better service, more
passengers and freight, increased revenues, new investment leading to
further improvements in service."

He concluded by saying:

"I am increasingly convinced that the importance we have
attached to this policy is beginning to strike a chord with a public
determined to see a strong rail alternative to road transport. A
revitalised railway, where private sector investment and enterprise
attracts more passengers and freight off the roads has to be good
news for the environment and public transport."

Notes to editors

1. Stagecoach were awarded the franchise for South West Trains on 19
December 1995. Great Western Holdings were awarded the franchise for
Great Western on 20 December 1995.

2. The commencement of these services means that around 20% by,
aggregate turnover, of the former British Rail is now operating in
the private sector. A further 30% of the industry, by aggregate
turnover, is on the market. 32 former BR businesses have been sold.

3.The last three months have seen the sale of virtually all of BR's
rolling stock, its telecommunications network, the final Design
Office and specialist engineering business, and the award of three
franchises to operate passenger services. Since the beginning of
December, sales have been completed for
#1.8 billion worth of businesses (by aggregate turnover).

4.In addition, final bids have been invited for the next four
passenger service franchises; the sale of the Trainload Freight
Companies and the Infrastructure Services is expected soon; and
Railtrack is on course to be floated in May. These represent a
further #4.6 billion worth of business by aggregate turnover

# = pounds sterling

Railhub Archive ::: 1996-02-05 DoT-001


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