Passenger Focus response to ORRs consultation on competition

09 December 2011

Dear Mr Quill The potential for increased on-rail competition Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the above document. Passenger Focus is a statutory body set up by the Government to protect the interests of Britain’s rail passengers. We believe competition can (and does) bring benefits for rail passengers. It creates choice and, through this, has a positive impact on fares and quality of service. As the consultation document highlights: ? Competition has a positive impact on fares ? where competition exists fares are lower/or have increased by less. ? Open access has opened up new through-services. While this may have been a virtual prerequisite of the existing ?not primarily abstractive? test for granting access rights it still means that that areas which didn?t previously have through services to London now receive them. Passengers like through services. ? Existing open access operators score highly in Passenger Focus?s own National Passenger Survey (NPS) research. This isn?t perhaps exclusively down to competitive pressures ? smaller operations are often able to offer a more personal-touch ? but it is a fact that open access operators record consistently high levels of passenger satisfaction. Competition can have clear benefits for passengers. However, it isn?t all one-sided. And we fully accept that competition can have potential downsides. As your consultation document acknowledges, untrammelled competition could lead to:

Liked it, or found it useful? Please share on social media and help spread the word!