Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum by Warwickshire County Council (PRF 08)

PASSENGER RAIL FRANCHISING

  The County Council requests that the Transport Sub-Committee consider the following comments on the draft Directions & Guidance to the Strategic Rail Authority and the draft Passenger Rail Franchising Policy Statement.

  1.  The County Council broadly supports the approach of the Secretary of State set out in the draft Directions & Guidance to the Strategic Rail Authority and the draft Passenger Rail Franchising Policy Statement provided the focus on short term franchise extensions is a short term measure only. The County Council would expect that, during this interim period, the efforts of the SRA are focused on (i) ensuring that the current network provides a high quality service for passengers, and (ii) developing a coherent strategic plan and priorities for the improvement and expansion of the railways. Thereafter, an additional focus should be the delivery of the strategic plan and to secure the appropriate funding from both public and private sources. The latter may involve consideration of longer term franchises.

  2.  The "Directions & Guidance to the Strategic Rail Authority" should contain an explicit statement that the SRA are the funding source for rail schemes included in Local Transport Plans. The SRA needs to take account of Local Transport Plans and Regional Transport Strategies as these are the main drivers for improvements to local and regional rail networks.

  3.  The needs of freight services should be considered in addition to passenger services in allocating capacity.

Peter Barnett

Senior Transport Planner

Transport Planning Unit

September 2001


 
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