Former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron will today [10/10/2018] present a Bill to the House of Commons which would make it significantly easier for the Government to strip failing rail companies of their franchises.
Mr Farron has repeatedly made the case for failing rail operators to be stripped of their franchise after a summer of chaos on the railways. In Mr Farron’s own constituency, every single train on the Lakes Line was cancelled during the month of June.
The Bill comes less than a month after the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) warned “no-one took charge” during the timetable chaos and blamed a lack of “responsibility and accountability”.
Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said:
“The Office of Rail and Road’s recent report found the main reason behind the summer of chaos on our railways was a lack of accountability. Liberal Democrats demand better.
“This Bill would mean that the Transport Secretary would no longer be able to shy away from being ultimately responsible for making sure people have a decent train service.
“It would also mean that there will actually be consequences for those companies like Northern and Thameslink who continue to provide diabolical services and treat their customers as nothing more than cattle.”
The Bill’s long and short title can be found below.
Railways (Franchises) Bill
A Bill to require the Secretary of State to terminate a rail passenger services franchise agreement in certain circumstances; to repeal section 25 of the Railways Act 1993; to make provision for local franchising authorities in England; and for connected purposes