The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) has responded to the Department of Transport's decision to cancel the awarding all new rail franchises, pending a review of the process. The review is expected to take a minimum of three months to complete.
“The discovery of significant flaws in the DfT’s franchising process is a cause of great concern. It is in the interests of passengers, taxpayers and the rail industry that the DfT solves these problems as a matter of urgency.
“Franchising private companies to run train services has delivered for the country, with rail travel more popular now than at any time since the 1920s and near record levels of satisfaction and punctuality. The cancellation, however, of the InterCity West Coast franchise allows the DfT to reappraise its approach to franchising and implement rapid improvements.
“The two independent reviews will need to restore the confidence of taxpayers and passengers, and those who might want to bid for franchises in the future. We look forward in particular to engaging with the review into the wider rail franchising programme.”
– Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC)