Liberal Democrats have today passed an emergency motion calling on the government to fix rail franchising. At Spring Conference in Southport, a motion moved by Transport Spokesperson Baroness Randerson was overwhelmingly passed in favour of reforming the failed franchising system that has repeatedly let down customers. The motion calls on the government to bring in sanctions and bans for companies that substantially breach the terms of their contract. The Liberal Democrats would also allow public sector bodies and mutual groups to bid for franchises, including staff and passengers. Liberal Democrat Transport Baroness put pressure on the government to act: “This is the third time in 11years that the East Coast franchise has failed. Meanwhile passengers on Southern and Great Northern have faced lengthy disruption to services.” “The Tory government has been focussed on minimising the amount of money they have to invest in the railways rather than thinking of the convenience of passengers and the need for long term investment in infrastructure to aid economic development of areas outside London, as well as to protect our environment.”

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