At the moment we have railway francises only lasting on average about 7 years. Over half of that time seems to be spent in the planning the next bid, rather than actually running the francise.

What is need is a francise period of at least 20 years, or even 25/30 years. This way less of the winners money is spent on getting the francise, it can be spent on inproving it.

The classic example if is course Chiltern Railways, they got a 20 year francise and have constantly improved the service to passengers, improved the infranstructure and are extending the services they are providing. Aylesbury Vale Parkway and the planned Oxford service. As well as the Evergreen 1, 2 & 3.

Also they don't have the Department for Transport (thats a laugh) constantly interfearing with the way they run things.

To see how it should be done, look at Scotrail & Merseyrail, neither of these francises are now let by the DfT, The Scotish Parliment lets Scotrail, and the Merseyside Authority lets Merseyrail. Even better if both these two organisations also dealt with the infrastructure, so it can be done how they want it and need it.

Why is this idea important?

Why is this important, it gets the DEAD HAND of the civil service out of any involvement in the day to day running. The DfT is the biggest obsticle to an efficient railway service. Scotland, Wales & mersey control their own services, they are being expanded constantly, new lines are being opened, new stations are being opened and capacity improvements are being provided quickly, while in the rest of England, practically nothing, unless you include London Overground, which also is outside the control of the DfT.

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