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Franchise rail performance to be reported every four weeks confirms DfT

8 November 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review

Rail performance will now be published every four weeks and measured by actual performance against contractual benchmarks for each rail franchise.

Franchise rail performance to be reported every four weeks confirms DfT

The Department for Transport (DfT) has revealed that it now intends to publish actual performance against contractual benchmarks for each rail franchise every four weeks. The move follows the Transport Committee’s call for greater transparency on rail operator performance.

Rail performance reporting every 4 weeks

Rail Minister Paul Maynard MP wrote to Chair of the Transport Committee, Louise Ellman MP, confirming that the Committee’s investigations have proved helpful in changing the Department’s approach. Today’s announcement follows the Committee’s examination of the performance of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) in the context of its inquiries into the passenger experience and rail franchising.

“I am pleased that the Department has accepted the case for greater transparency”

Commenting on the Department’s decision to alter rail performance reporting, Chair of the Committee, Louise Ellman MP, said: “I am pleased that the Department has accepted the case for greater transparency made by my Committee.

“As a Committee we were continuously frustrated by the lack of information on the performance of individual rail companies during our recent inquires. Govia Thameslink Railway was a particular concern, given the abysmal service that commuters have been forced to endure.

“The Department has told us that it will now publish performance figures against contractual obligations for every rail franchise, on a regular basis. This should give commuters real insight into the quality of the service they pay for. It will help us understand how the Department monitors the contracts it lets.

“There is a great deal of work still to do but this is a positive start. In evidence to the Committee yesterday, Mr Maynard committed to putting the passenger first and recognised the need for the Department to ‘get on with it’. We will watch carefully to see how the Government delivers on this new commitment to transparency and how quickly these arrangements can be brought in.

“The Committee will also monitor how the Department will deal with significant task of assessing the force majeure claim submitted by GTR in respect of industrial action on Southern Rail.”

The Committee is waiting for a Government response to its report on the rail passenger experience and expects to publish a report on rail franchising before the end of this parliamentary session.

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