Giving passengers a voice in rail services
05 June 2013
Major changes are underway to the process for awarding rail passenger franchises. The Government recently set out a revised timetable for franchise replacement and changes to policy, in response to the Brown Review, will also soon follow. Government has committed to giving passengers a greater voice in the way franchises are awarded, extended and run. Passengers are now putting around two pounds into the railway for every pound of taxpayer subsidy – so their voice should be amplified.
We welcome the commitment to re-building passengers’ views into the heart of the process and to giving passengers an enhanced role in deciding whether a future new operator can get a franchise extension. It is crucial that effective passenger consultation and input takes place in the process of potentially extending existing franchises.
To get a better understanding of what passengers wanted we did what we always do – we went out and asked them. This research was designed to get a better understanding of passengers’ awareness of the existing franchising process and, perhaps more importantly, whether/how they can best contribute to the process.