Friday, 30 October 2009

Train Firms Seek Longer Contracts

The Association Of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) which represents franchise holders such as NXEA has called for longer rail franchises to allow them to provide better quality services. ATOC says that agreements of 15-20 years would encourage franchises to improve services and boost investment. Currently bidders compete for deals typically lasting seven years and such deals discourage franchise holders from making long term investment in the railway as they may never reap the benefits.

ATOC has also called for and end to 'inappropriate micro management' by civil servants. At present it is difficult for franchise holders to achieve anything without first gaining approval from, typically, the Department for Transport. Often a lengthy process for often comparatively small improvements or changes.

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