UK: Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris struck a defiant tone when addressing the Transport Select Committee on November 18, insisting that the government was seeking ‘resilience, not cuts’ from the railway during the coronavirus pandemic.
UK: The future direction of passenger contracts is becoming clearer, as insiders confirm that successful negotiations between owning groups and the Department for Transport would see franchised operators move from Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements to new National Rail Contracts.
UK:·The government has announced the end of rail franchising, with Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps saying ‘the model of privatisation adopted 25 years ago has seen significant rises in passenger numbers, but this pandemic has proven that it is no longer working’.
UK: The Department for Transport is looking to ‘reset’ its approach to railway operations and funding with the introduction of 18-month Emergency Remedial Measures Agreements in September to replace the current Emergency Measures Agreements, according to senior rail sector insiders.
UK: Having temporarily suspended its franchise agreements with passenger train operators, the Department for Transport is currently considering its options for what may follow the Emergency Measures Agreements announced on March 23.