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1996-08-15 DoT-001
Department of Transport

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Bowis welcomes independent confirmation of passenger benefits on privatised railways


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Department of Transport

Bowis welcomes independent confirmation of passenger benefits on privatised railways
_______________________________________________________________


date
15 August 1996
source Department of Transport
type Press release

note 263


Independent confirmation that rail passengers can expect quality
improvements from newly privatised train companies was published
today in the Central Rail Users Consultative Committee annual report.

Welcoming the findings as a vindication of the Government's decision
to return the rail industry to the private sector, John Bowis,
Transport Minister, said:

"Independent recognition that passengers will get a better service as
a result of rail privatisation is yet another setback for critics who
claimed the private sector would ruin our railways.

"I fully agree with the Consultative Committee when they say that
"positive signs of action have started to come through as the new
franchisees deliver detailed improvements".

"Independent confirmation that putting the private sector back in
control on the railways is leading to a better service for the
travelling public confirms what this Government has always said.
Privatisation is all about putting the passenger first."

Published by the main body representing the voice of passengers on
Britain's railways, the report confirms that:

- safety is being maintained at a high level
- the first privately run "franchised" passenger services promise
higher standards and improved levels of compensation for serious
delays
- new franchises are delivering improvements in services
- complaints about cancellations fell by 5% in 1995/96

Warning that there was no room for complacency, the Minister added.

"There is still a great deal of hard work to be done. The level of
complaints about punctuality, refunds and conditions on trains shows
where action needs to be taken to still further improve the levels of
service.

"In the period the report covers, the vast majority of services were
still run by British Rail. That situation is now changing fast. As
more and more of the passenger train companies pass into private
hands I expect the quality of service to continue to improve.

"A railway run by the private sector means new trains, better
services, cheaper fares, massive investment and enormous savings for
the taxpayer. That's the passenger promise for Britain's new
railways."


Railhub Archive ::: 1996-08-15 DoT-001





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