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2003-11-04 ATO-001


Railways “changing for the better” says ATOC

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Association of Train Operating Companies

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Railways “changing for the better” says ATOC

4 November 2003
source ATOC
type Press release

In the seven years since the first private train franchise was let, we have seen numerous and real improvements on Britain’s railways:

Trains are safer than ever before – taking the train is seven times safer than taking the car – and safety has been improving at above the trend established by British Rail (Note 1)

Train companies have backed £4 billion of private investment in rolling stock since privatisation.

Over half the trains and carriages on the network are either new or refurbished, giving the UK the youngest fleet of trains in Europe

Hundreds of stations such as Leeds, Manchester Piccadilly and London Marylebone have been refurbished.

Train operators now carry 30% more passengers and run 20% more trains since privatisation.

Passenger information systems have been vastly improved: National Rail Enquiries has expanded the range of information it provides and has gone online.

Large scale industrial relations problems – unlike nationalised Royal Mail - are a thing of the past.

Fares have largely been kept at reasonable levels – and many have gone up at LESS than the rate of inflation.

The Channel Tunnel Rail Link has been privately financed and delivered on time.

Passenger satisfaction levels are rising each year and are higher than the European average.

"We have one of the fastest-growing rail industries in Europe," said George Muir, Director General of ATOC. "We have invested millions in new trains, new safety systems and more frontline staff – overall, train operating companies have been a great success."
"Improving the railways will continue to require hard work. We know we need to improve punctuality. The network needs support from Government, just as it needs the entrepreneurial flair and customer service culture of the private sector. Working together, we are changing the railways for the better."


ATOC press office 020 7904 3010

1. Source: Professor Andrew Evans, University College, London

Railhub Archive ::: 2003-11-04 ATO-001


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