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The South Eastern Passenger Rail Franchise

“The seeds of Connex South Eastern’s difficulties were sown when the train operating company won its franchise with an over-ambitious bid. It indeed subsequently proved to be undeliverable. The Strategic Rail Authority lost confidence in CSE and took the difficult and finely balanced decision to terminate the franchise. The SRA went on to demonstrate that the successful termination of a train operating company’s franchise is feasible, and that taxpayers’ and passengers’ interests can be protected, through careful management of the attendant risks.

“This case highlights lessons to be learned, however, in how franchises are awarded and managed, which the Department for Transport must keep in view as it takes forward the responsibilities it has recently inherited from the Strategic Rail Authority.”

Published:
2 Dec 2005

Progress on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link

The National Audit Office’s report finds that London & Continental Railways (LCR) successfully completed the construction of Section 1 of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) on time and at a cost slightly below the target set in the 1998 restructuring. Drawing on the reasons for this achievement, the NAO report highlights lessons for other … Read more

Published:
21 Jul 2005

Maintaining and improving Britain’s railway stations

While most of Britain’s largest stations provide excellent facilities, many other stations do not. The government, the industry and other interested parties must work together in a more concerted fashion to tackle the financial and other barriers to improvement so that more of our stations provide the facilities and services that rail passengers deserve.

Published:
20 Jul 2005

Tackling congestion by making better use of England’s motorways and trunk roads

“Road traffic congestion on our motorways and trunk roads is an enduring problem. I welcome the Highways Agency’s efforts to attack the problem by making better use of our existing roads. In particular, it is aiming to improve roadside information to motorists and to deal more effectively with incidents and accidents.

“I am looking, however, for the Agency to adopt a less risk averse approach. It must not only carry out more effective trials of proposed congestion-reducing measures; but also, if the trials are successful, follow the lead of its overseas counterparts in implementing these technologies more widely on the network.”

Published:
26 Nov 2004

London Underground: Are the Public Private Partnerships likely to work successfully?

“These are complicated deals, worth a great amount of money and spanning a long period into the future. I welcome the fact that there are prospects for improvement to the Tube. But in the face of the inevitable uncertainty about what the next 30 years will bring, only time will tell whether these prospects are fully realised and, therefore, whether the eventual price that the taxpayer pays is worth it.”

Published:
17 Jun 2004

London Underground PPP: Were they good deals?

“These are complicated deals, worth a great amount of money and spanning a long period into the future. I welcome the fact that there are prospects for improvement to the Tube. But in the face of the inevitable uncertainty about what the next 30 years will bring, only time will tell whether these prospects are fully realised and, therefore, whether the eventual price that the taxpayer pays is worth it.”

Published:
17 Jun 2004

Network Rail – Making a Fresh Start

“The improvements to planning and cost control are to be welcomed. The outlook is certainly better than it was in 2001. But there are still serious challenges in Network Rail’s own structure and in the rail industry in general which the Government must overcome if we are to see a reliable and affordable rail network in the future.”

Published:
14 May 2004

Improving public transport in England through light rail

Modern light rail systems, such as Croydon Tramlink and Manchester Metrolink, have brought significant benefits to passengers, according to a report Parliament by the head of the National Audit Office, Sir John Bourn. They deliver fast, frequent and reliable services and provide a comfortable and safe journey. Their modern look and attractive services have enhanced … Read more

Published:
23 Apr 2004