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Railhub Archive
1999-06-16 SRA-002
Shadow Strategic Rail Authority


Rail passenger partnership - bidding guidance

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Shadow Strategic Rail Authority

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Shadow Strategic Rail Authority

Rail passenger partnership - bidding guidance

16 June 1999
source Shadow Strategic Rail Authority
type Guidance note

1. Introduction
2. Purpose
3. The Nature of RPP Funding
4. Partnership
5. Who May Apply?
6. Funds Available
7. Relationship With Other Programmes
8. Bidding Process
Stage 1 - Pre-qualification
Stage 2 - Formal Bid
9. Project Plan
Physical Improvements
Rail Service Enhancements
10. Monitoring Regimes
11. Designation as Experimental Services
Appendix A - Pre-qualification Questionnaire
Section 1 - Details of Sponsor(s)
Section 2 - Details of Scheme
Section 3 - Financial Aspects
Notes on the Completion of Pre-qualification Questionnaires
Appendix B - Formal Bid Guidance and Submission Forms
Formal Bid Submissions
Assessment Tables
Supporting Information
Submission Checklist
Notes on the Completion of Assessment Tables
Bidder's Warranties

1.1 The Rail Passenger Partnership (RPP) scheme is a new form of funding designed to encourage improvements in the rail network. It was announced in the Government's recent White Paper, A New Deal for Transport.(1)

1.2 This document provides guidance to parties interested in submitting a bid for funds available under the RPP. It should be read in conjunction with OPRAF's Planning Criteria (2) and the Franchising Director's Objectives Instructions and Guidance (OIG) from the Secretary of State.

1 A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, July 1998.

2 Planning Criteria: A Guide to the Appraisal of Support for Passenger Rail Services, OPRAF, March 1999.

2.1 The RPP provides a source of partnership funding to assist in the provision of new or enhanced local and regional rail services that cannot be justified on financial grounds alone, but which contribute to the Government's wider objectives for rail. These include modal shift and integration with other modes. Funds can be used for both capital projects and revenue support, although in each case payments will be made through franchise operators generally by way of revenue support.

2.2 Examples of suitable schemes could be:

Interchanges with other modes of transport
Passenger security and accessibility
Rail facilities such as stations
Rail services.

3.1 RPP funding will only be awarded to schemes that are not commercially viable in their own right. Commercially viable schemes should be taken forward by or with the Train Operating Company (TOC) and, where appropriate, Railtrack. However, funding may be available to cover 'start-up' losses for schemes which are expected to be financially viable in the longer term, but which do not break even during the TOC's current franchise term.

3.2 Any RPP funds awarded will be paid to the relevant TOC in the form of revenue support. RPP will not generally make direct capital grants. However, this does not preclude capital works, as capital expenditure can be funded over time through RPP revenue support, in the form of access charges and rolling stock lease charges.

4.1 RPP is a form of partnership funding and therefore only one of possibly many funding components in a scheme. Bidders for RPP should ensure that they have fully explored the opportunities for support, both financial and non-financial, available from other sources before completing an RPP bid.

4.2 Potential sources of funding could be:

Fare revenue
Local authorities
Other private sector companies
The European Union.
4.3 In considering any bid for support OPRAF will expect to see not only significant funding commitments by other parties, but a substantial element of risk retained within the private sector.

5.1 Proposals for RPP support can be submitted by a variety of bodies, either as individuals or consortia. However, any funds secured must be paid to a TOC. This reflects the statutory position under the 1993 Railways Act. Therefore, while it is not mandatory that a TOC or TOCs be participants in any bid, their support or at least agreement is desirable.

5.2 Potential bidders for RPP funding could be:

Local authorities, including Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs)/Passenger Transport Authorities (PTAs)
Private companies, including TOCs
Consortia promoting public transport projects.
5.3 In the case of bids from consortia, one party must act as the lead organisation, taking overall responsibility for sponsoring the whole project.

6.1 In the first year, 1999/2000, expenditure by OPRAF on RPP schemes may be up to £20 million. This is out of a total provision of up to £105 million for the three-year period 1999/2000 to 2001/2002 covered by the Comprehensive Spending Review.

6.2 RPP funding will be in the form of period by period revenue support paid to the TOC, commencing at project/service implementation.

7.1 The RPP scheme will operate in parallel with existing support mechanisms available to local authorities and PTEs. The relationship between various sources of public funding secured by any particular scheme will need to be clearly established to ensure that funds are complementary. In particular, there can be no question of a project receiving RPP support in respect of benefits which are already supported via other public funds. Section 3 of the pre-qualification questionnaire in Appendix A, and the notes to it, make this requirement clear.

7.2 The RPP scheme will be co-ordinated with other government programmes to ensure coherence in the public support of rail services. Local authorities can put forward rail enhancement projects of any size as candidates for RPP support, as long as projects submitted are included in Local Transport Plans.

8.1 The bidding process is made up of two stages:

1 Pre-qualification

2 Formal bid.

8.2 Submissions for pre-qualification and formal bids must be made on the prescribed forms. Appendix A contains a pre-qualification questionnaire while Appendix B contains formal bid guidance and submission forms.

8.3 Formal bid submission forms are included for information purposes only. Sponsors should make themselves aware of the level of information that will be required for submission of a formal bid before embarking on the process of pre-qualification.

8.4 Sponsors are advised to contact OPRAF as soon as possible for general advice and guidance before submitting any formal documentation. The submission of a bid and any associated costs are the sole responsibility of the scheme sponsor(s).

8.5 One of the main criteria for obtaining RPP funding is value for money, which must be secured in two ways. Firstly, in terms of net benefits per £ of RPP funding, and secondly in the delivery of the scheme itself. This second element is best but not only secured through the competitive tender of relevant works and services.

Stage 1 - Pre-qualification
8.6 Pre-qualification is designed to identify schemes that meet the key criteria for RPP funding and are suitable for further development into a formal bid. Schemes must pre-qualify before a formal bid can be submitted for consideration.

8.7 Schemes must meet OPRAF's Planning Criteria, which require that a scheme:

is consistent with the objectives of the Integrated Transport White Paper and with the draft Local Transport Plan (LTP) for the area(s) concerned.(3) Where the local authority/authorities are not the applicants, a statement of their view of the scheme's consistency with the LTP should be provided.
could not proceed in the absence of RPP support;
offers value for money;
offers significant external (ie non-user) net benefits; and
leaves the private sector with significant revenue and/or cost risks to promote incentives for efficient delivery.
8.8 It is recognised that much of the information supplied at this stage may be indicative rather than quantitative. However, sponsors should demonstrate a thorough grasp of the issues and a realistic view of the benefits of the scheme.

Stage 2 - Formal Bid
8.9 After successful pre-qualification OPRAF will provide individual guidance tailored to each scheme to assist in the completion of a formal bid. This should be submitted on the forms provided in Appendix B of this document. Supporting documents must be supplied and should be clearly referenced to the appropriate section on the prescribed forms.

8.10 The tailored bidding advice provided following pre-qualification will detail the level and extent of information required for the submission of a formal bid. In general terms the information required at formal bid stage will be proportional, in terms of detail, precision and extent, to the size and complexity of the scheme.

8.11 All information contained within a formal bid must be clear, accurate, quantifiable to the extent possible and capable of independent verification. The tailored guidance supplied to each sponsor after pre-qualification will detail the level of information required. This will vary according to the nature and scale of the scheme. OPRAF's Planning Criteria and the forthcoming Appraisal Guidance provide detailed advice on the calculation and presentation of information and should be used in the completion of any formal bid.

8.12 Formal bids will be appraised to ensure they are consistent with OPRAF's Planning Criteria and OIG.

8.13 The primary factor in the appraisal of bids will be the extent to which they meet the key criteria (paragraph 8.7). Schemes that meet these criteria, and demonstrate a high state of readiness, will receive priority.

8.14 Successful bids will be those that pass the appraisal criteria, as set out in the Planning Criteria, and can be funded from within the Franchising Director's budgetary constraints. Annual support requirements as well as the total level of funds requested will be considered during the appraisal process. Bids that pass the appraisal but cannot be funded in the current financial year may be re-submitted for support in subsequent periods.

8.15 RPP funding can only be claimed for benefits which are not or will not be funded by other public support mechanisms. Sponsors must make clear all sources of funding and the benefits they are directed towards, as any overlap in public funding will not be permitted.

3 Local Transport Plans are available from the relevant local authorities.

9.1 The bid must be supported by a project plan, which sponsors are required to deliver if funding is granted. The project plan must demonstrate the achievement of value for money in the delivery of the scheme. Wherever possible, this will require an element of competitive tendering for various components of the scheme. Sponsors should make themselves aware of any relevant legislative constraints including EC Procurement Directives. The project plan should contain detailed information on delivering the scheme, broken down into the following elements:

Performance indicators
Competitive procurement
Other factors.

Physical Improvements
9.2 Delivery of physical works will be the responsibility of the scheme sponsor and/or the TOC as appropriate, since the TOC may procure physical improvements to buildings, infrastructure and facilities etc. through a contract with Railtrack. In addition, sponsors must ensure compliance with any statutory requirements such as planning permission or public consultation.

Rail Service Enhancements
9.3 Rail service enhancements will be sought by OPRAF on behalf of the scheme sponsors, using one of two routes depending on circumstances:

Route A

9.4 When OPRAF considers the service could potentially be provided by more than one TOC, OPRAF will reserve the right to invite competitive tenders from the relevant parties. In the event that the lowest tender for service provision is received from a TOC not party to the scheme, then the TOC that is party to the scheme will be given two weeks to match the lowest bid.

Route B

9.5 When OPRAF considers the service can realistically only be provided by one TOC, OPRAF will enter into direct negotiations with the relevant TOC to secure the best possible price for provision of the service.

9.6 While initial negotiations with the TOC are the responsibility of the project sponsor, all contractual arrangements and modifications to franchise agreements required for the delivery of new or enhanced services will be carried out by OPRAF.

10.1 Monitoring regimes for financial control, physical and service outputs will form important components of the project plan. OPRAF expects schemes, after a reasonable period of time, to deliver their forecast outputs. OPRAF reserves the right to audit all aspects of a scheme. If a scheme falls short in its performance, OPRAF may take measures ranging from more intensive monitoring and review, to the reduction or withdrawal of funding. Where appropriate, mechanisms to monitor schemes will be included in franchise agreements.

11.1 Notwithstanding acceptance of a project plan, OPRAF reserves the right to designate the relevant passenger rail services as experimental within the meaning of the 1993 Railways Act. The experimental status will allow the opportunity for promoters of passenger railway services to introduce new services, whilst avoiding the rigours of the full closure process under the Act should the service not prove to be successful.


Section 1 - Details of Sponsor(s)
Scheme name:
Scheme sponsor:
Status of sponsor: Local authority
Private Limited Company
Public Limited Company
Contact name:
Contact details:
Give the names and addresses
of all organisations who are party
to the scheme

Section 2 - Details of Scheme
Description of scheme: Enclose outline details of the proposed scheme. (No more than one side of A4)
Enclosed? Yes No
Description of scheme benefits: Enclose outline details of the benefits of the scheme. (No more than two sides of A4)
Enclosed? Yes No
Technical feasibility of the scheme: Enclose outline details of the feasibility of the scheme identifying any significant technical barriers to implementation. (No more than one side of A4)
Enclosed? Yes No
State of readiness: Intended start date:
List any significant factors which could delay the scheme such as planning permission, statutory consultation or land/asset purchase:
Environmental aspects: Give a qualitative indication of any positive or negative environmental impacts of the scheme.
Positive Negative
1) 1)
2) 2)
3) 3)
4) 4)

Section 3 - Financial Aspects
Financial details of scheme

1 2 3 4 5 6
Capital cost
Running cost
Total cost
Funding secured
Estimated income
RPP funding sought
Total funding

Details of all funding secured or assumed:

Enclose details of all funding and revenue (if any) including source, level, duration and conditions. This is especially important in the case of other public funding where any overlap will not be permitted.
Enclosed? Yes No
What is the scope for prioritising/modifying the bid in the event that the available level of RPP funding is less than requested?

Print name:

Notes on the Completion of Pre-qualification Questionnaires
Section 1 - Details of Sponsor(s)

1. Scheme name: The name or title by which the scheme is known.

2. Scheme sponsor: The name of the organisation proposing the scheme. Where more than one organisation is involved, give the name of the lead organisation that will take responsibility for delivering the scheme.

3. Status of sponsor: The legal identity, if any, of the organisation(s) sponsoring the scheme. In the case of consortia without an independent legal identity, give the status of the lead organisation.

4. Contact name and details: The name and contact details of the person most able to represent the sponsor on a day to day basis.

5. Other parties: Full details of all parties to the scheme.

Section 2 - Details of Scheme

6. Description of scheme: Attach a broad description of the scheme, giving sufficient details to fully understand its nature and extent. Include details of infrastructure, services and duration.

7. Description of scheme benefits: Attach details of the benefits of the scheme. These could include modal shift, road decongestion, increased journey opportunities etc.

8. Technical feasibility of the scheme: The essence of this question is to determine whether there are any technical barriers that are likely to prevent the scheme being completed. Sponsors should take advice on this issue from relevant organisations, as seemingly simple problems can be difficult and expensive to resolve.

9. State of readiness: Schemes that exhibit a high state of readiness, both technically and practically, will receive priority, providing that they meet OPRAF's Planning Criteria and its Objectives Instructions and Guidance from Government.

10. Environmental aspects: Give brief qualitative details of any environmental impacts associated with the scheme. List both the positive and negative impacts for the scheme. For example, a modal transfer scheme may lead to reduction in emissions but require construction on a 'greenfield' site.

Section 3 - Financial Aspects

11. Financial details of scheme:

Capital cost: Give the total anticipated spend on capital works for each year of the scheme, and equivalent annual access and/or leasing charges.
Running cost: Give the total anticipated running cost for each year of the scheme where relevant.
Total cost: The annual sum of the capital cost and running cost.
Funding secured: The total of funding secured to date from all sources, whether private or public. Note any outstanding applications.
Estimated income: The level of revenue (fares etc), if any, that the scheme is expected to generate.
RPP funding sought: The amount of RPP funding sought by financial year at constant prices.
Total funding: The annual sum of all funds detailed above.
12. Details of all funding secured or assumed: List the source, level and duration of all funding secured or assumed. Detail any conditions that are attached to particular sources of funding. This is particularly important in relation to other sources of public funds, where overlap in terms of the benefits covered by different funds will not be permitted.

13. Scope for prioritising/modifying the bid: Sponsors should give details of the scope for modifying the project if the level of funding applied for is not available. Options could include a delayed start date or a reduction in the level of funding awarded.


Formal Bid Submissions
1. All submissions should contain a business case consistent with OPRAF's Planning Criteria and an executive summary of the scheme, including:

An account of the current situation and the proposed solution.
A physical description of the scheme.
The state of readiness of the project.
The required level of annual RPP support.
An account of the scheme's economic benefits.
An assessment of risks and uncertainties.
An account of why the proposed scheme represents the best value for money, including an account of why the applicants have chosen their proposed strategy in preference to alternatives.
An outline of the proposed project plan.
An outline of the monitoring and evaluation regime, including performance indicators.
2. A formal bid should be free standing, containing all the information necessary for its assessment.

Assessment Tables
3. Four tables have been derived from OPRAF's Planning Criteria. (See Tables 1-4.) These are designed to:

assist both applicants and OPRAF to ensure that the RPP assessment criteria are considered; and
facilitate the process of bid appraisal.

Supporting Information
4. The summary information contained within Tables 1-4 should be substantiated by supporting information submitted with the formal bid. Supporting information should take the form of reports on the various issues covered by the bid and explanatory notes detailing the basis and methodology of calculations.

Submission Checklist
5. A submission checklist is provided at the end of this Appendix to assist in the completion of formal bids. When completing the checklist, reference should be made to the tailored bidding guidance supplied by OPRAF.

Table 1: Physical and Environmental Assessment

Scheme: Option:
Units Year: 199x
Current Future year: 20xx
Do-minimum Future year: 20xx
Rail transport impacts
Travel volumes
Load factor
Abstraction from other services

Environmental impacts*
Noise and vibration
Air quality
Land and water pollution

Accidents: non-users
Accidents: users
Personal security

User benefits
¥ Time savings
¥ Frequency
¥ Reliability
¥ Crowding
¥ Station facilities
¥ Rolling stock quality
Non-user time savings
Economic/regeneration impacts

Accessibility benefits*
Reduction in barriers
Option values

Road traffic impact
Bus patronage impact
Interchange impact

* For further guidance, see the OPRAF Planning Criteria and Appraisal Guidance.

Where applicable, there should be an entry in each cell in Table 1. It is recognised that, in some cases, available information may be limited. Moreover, where relevant information is available, it may not be in a format which lends itself to summary in Table 1. This may be a particular problem for criteria like 'integration with other Government policy', where descriptive assessments may be appropriate. However, at the very least entries should indicate whether the effect of the proposal against the relevant criteria is strongly/slightly positive or negative, as suggested in Appendix B (paragraph 7). Where necessary, cell entries may cross-refer to annexes where further information is summarised in a format appropriate for purpose.

Table 2: Monetised Values of Physical Impacts

Scheme: Option:
Units Year: 199x
Current Future year: 20xx
Do-minimum Future year: 20xx
Total additional revenue £
Fares £
Other £
Abstraction from other services
Other rail operators £
Bus £
Other modes £

Accidents: non-users £
Fatal £
Serious £
Slight £
Accidents: users

User benefits £
Time savings
Station facilities
Rolling stock quality
Non-user time savings £

* For further guidance, see the OPRAF Planning Criteria and Appraisal Guidance.

Where appropriate, the relevant supporting information setting out the methodology and detailed results, should be attached.

Table 3: Summary of Economic and Financial Assessment

Assessment period:
Money units and price base:
Base year for discounting:
Alternatives considered: 1. Do-minimum
2. Optimising existing system/network
3. Requiring significantly less support
4. Others

Scheme Alternative 1 Alternative 2 Alternative 3 Alternative 4

Capital costs including access and leasing charges (PV)
Operating costs (PV)
Revenue (PV)
Non-user benefit (PV)
Unpriced user benefit (PV)
Economic NPV
Benefit-cost ratio:
First year rate of return:
Restricted economic NPV (4)
PV of RPP support
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
PV of total

PV of non-user benefit over PV of RPP support

PV of total benefit over PV of RPP support

Other relevant factors

Source documents:
(Attach the relevant report, providing the methodology and detailed result.)

Where appropriate, the relevant supporting information setting out the methodology and detailed results, should be attached.

4 Excluding unpriced user-benefits.

Table 4: Sensitivity Analysis of Economic and Financial Assessments

Scheme: Option:
Base case Factor 1
+/-10% Factor 2
+/-10% Factor 3
+/-10% Factor 4

Capital costs including access and leasing charges (PV)
Operating costs (PV)
Revenue (PV)
Non-user benefit (PV)
Unpriced user benefit (PV)
Economic NPV
Benefit-cost ratio:
First year rate of return:
Restricted economic NPV (4)
RPP support required
Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
PV of total
Non-user benefit over RPP support (PV)
Total benefit over RPP support (PV)

Factor 1:
Factor 2:
Factor 3:
Factor 4:

(Attach the relevant report, providing the methodology and detailed results.)

Where appropriate, the relevant supporting information setting out the methodology and detailed results, should be attached.

4 Excluding unpriced user-benefits.

Submission Checklist

Final bid submission forms Enclosed Not enclosed N/A
Table 1
Table 2
Table 3
Table 4
Supporting information Enclosed Not enclosed N/A
Executive summary
Transport impact report
Environmental impact report
Safety report
Economic report
Accessibility report
Integration report
Community severence report
Economic and regeneration impact report
Assessment of risks and uncertainties
Value for money report
Outline procurement plan
Outline monitoring regime
Performance indicators
Other supporting information
Covering letter signed by an authorised person

Notes on the completion of Assessment Tables
Table 1: Physical and Environmental Assessment

1. Table 1 must be completed for each scheme. The environmental assessment may be a summary of more detailed analysis carried out in compliance with the relevant legislation (eg EC Directive 85/337/EEC and Transport and Works Act 1992). For smaller schemes only qualitative indicators are required, although well-founded assessments can help demonstrate value for money. Table 1 has been designed to give applicants scope to provide a broader assessment of scheme impacts, beyond the range of issues which it is technically feasible and cost-effective to reflect in a monetised assessment. It also allows applicants to link scheme impacts more directly to localised transport difficulties or other problems identified in the submission.

2. Table 1 requires information concerning the 'current' year, and a 'future' year, for 'with' and 'without' scenarios. The 'current' year could be a recent year, depending on data availability. The 'future' year should be at least two years after the scheme has been introduced. For major projects, a more distant date might be more appropriate to allow longer-term impacts to become apparent. Where the scheme has increasing effects over time it may be appropriate to add additional columns for intermediate years. The 'with' scenario should be compared to the 'without' scenario. For smaller schemes, only qualitative indicators are required (eg '+' or '++', relative to the current year, or a well-defined 'do-minimum' future year).

3. To avoid possible confusion relating to environmental impacts, the meaning of qualitative indicators should be stated clearly. For example, it should be made clear whether a '+' means an improvement in air quality, or an increase in emissions.

4. The basis of estimation of the figures in the table should be included within the supporting information.

Table 2: Monetised Values of Physical Impacts

5. Table 2 expresses in monetary terms those physical impacts from Table 1 which can currently be monetised. Where a monetised value is not available, a qualitative indicator should be provided.

Table 3: Summary of Economic and Financial Assessment

6. The information in Table 3 will be a summary of the results described in detail in the economic appraisal document, which should be annexed to the submission.

7. Table 3 also helps to demonstrate the analysis that has led to the choice of the preferred option, by illustrating the comparative merits of different options. The comparative merits of different options in many cases can be shown just as convincingly by non-monetary indicators, and a much simpler disaggregation may suffice.

8. Tables 1, 2 and 3 should be completed for each alternative considered. Care must be taken to ensure that, as far as possible, the monetised appraisals of alternatives have been derived on a consistent basis using consistent modelling assumptions.

9. The 'do minimum' base case should represent a realistic view of what is likely to take place if the project is not proceeded with. The options to be considered should cover the main alternative ways of dealing with the problem identified. Alternative options considered should typically include:

optimisation of the existing network;
an exploration of the scope for reducing the financial deficit by setting a higher fare, or an alternative fare structure related to improvements in quality of service; and
at least one specification requiring significantly lower public sector support.

Table 4: Sensitivity Analysis of Economic and Financial Assessments

10. Table 4 is designed to provide a summary of sensitivity tests carried out to illustrate the robustness/sensitivity of the results to variation in the main underlying assumptions. Particular attention should be paid to factors that influence the extent of non-user benefits, in lieu of which the RPP support is applied for.

11. Table 4 should be completed for the preferred option only.

Bidder's Warranties
In submitting this formal bid for RPP funding, - the person(s) making the submission on its/their own behalf and on behalf of any other person(s) forming part of any consortium making the bid ('together the Bidder') hereby warrant(s), represent(s) and undertake(s) to the Franchising Director that:

a) all the information, representations and other matters communicated in writing to the Franchising Director by or on behalf of the Bidder, its directors, officers, employees or agents in connection with or arising out of the bid process are, unless otherwise notified in writing to the Franchising Director and accepted by him, accurate and not misleading in all material respects, both as at the date communicated and as at the date of submission of the bid; and

b) it will inform the Franchising Director in writing of any material change to any of the information, representations and other matters of fact communicated to the Franchising Director and his advisers and of any material change of circumstances which may affect the truth, completeness or accuracy of any information provided or in connection with the bid immediately on becoming aware of such changes.

Enquiries to:
Margaret O'Brien
Goldings House
2 Hay's Lane
London SE1 2HB
Tel: 0171 940 4200
Fax: 0171 940 4210
Email: rpp@opraf.gov.uk

Railhub Archive ::: 1999-06-16 SRA-002


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