Following the Transport Committee’s calls for greater transparency on rail operator performance, the Department for Transport has indicated it now intends to publish the actual performance against the contractual benchmarks for each rail franchise every four weeks.
Rail Minister Paul Maynard MP has written to the Chair of the Transport Committee, Louise Ellman MP, to say the Committee’s investigations have proved helpful in changing the Department’s approach.
The Committee has been examining the performance of the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) in the context of their inquiries into the passenger experience and rail franchising.
Chair of the Committee, Louise Ellman MP, said:
“I am pleased that the Department has accepted the case for greater transparency made by my Committee.
As a Committee we were continuously frustrated by the lack of information on the performance of individual rail companies during our recent inquires. Govia Thameslink Railway was a particular concern, given the abysmal service that commuters have been forced to endure.
The Department has told us that it will now publish performance figures against contractual obligations for every rail franchise, on a regular basis. This should give commuters real insight into the quality of the service they pay for. It will help us understand how the Department monitors the contracts it lets.
There is a great deal of work still to do but this is a positive start. In evidence to the Committee yesterday, Mr Maynard committed to putting the passenger first and recognised the need for the Department to ‘get on with it’. We will watch carefully to see how the Government delivers on this new commitment to transparency and how quickly these arrangements can be brought in.
The Committee will also monitor how the Department will deal with significant task of assessing the force majeure claim submitted by GTR in respect of industrial action on Southern Rail.”
The Committee took evidence from the Rail Minister on 7 November 2016 in the final session of their inquiry into rail franchising, part of the ‘Future of Rail’ series.
The Committee is waiting for a Government response to its report on the rail passenger experience and expects to publish a report on rail franchising before the end of this parliamentary session.
A double take on Birmingham New Street Atrium..letting in the light!