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1999-09-16 SRA-001
Shadow Strategic Rail Authority

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SRA Chairman issues call to arms to train operators - new franchises to be negotiated


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Shadow Strategic Rail Authority

SRA Chairman issues call to arms to train operators - new franchises to be negotiated
_______________________________________________________________


date
16 September 1999
source Shadow Strategic Rail Authority
type Press release



We are inviting them to approach us to negotiate longer replacements of all
the franchises expiring within five years. Let us be clear: our invitation is a call
to arms for the operators.

Sir Alastair confirmed that the SRA's task was to, "re-orientate the franchisees
to be substantial, highly motivated investment partners for Railtrack and for
capital markets", and that this applied also to the freight operators. While
Railtrack must raise its game, the operators "must take their responsibilities
and lead the way".

So new franchises would be longer, "and will modify the steep downward
trend in the government funding which supplements farebox revenues", but
ONLY in return for "solid commitments to invest in core developments in the
franchises and to raise service levels in both quality and quantity."

He noted that a "window of opportunity" was now opening as Government
transport policy, vigorously led by the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime
Minister, sees enhancement of our railway system as an imperative.

Sir Alastair also noted that next year, fiscal year 2000-2001, the aggregate
government subsidy to train operators will fall below the aggregate annual
subvention to British Rail just before privatisation. "The much trumpeted
doubling of public subsidy for rail has evaporated ... I am sure that this
Government will not wish to claim an intention to tax away the further increase
in farebox revenues earned as its sole serious involvement in developing rail
transport's place in our society."


Railhub Archive ::: 1999-09-16 SRA-001





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