In response to the publication of the scoping study for the McNulty Review into value for money in the rail industry, Alec McTavish, Director of Policy and Operations at the Association of Train Operating Companies said:
“The review represents a real opportunity to bring about a railway that delivers value for money for taxpayers and quality services to passengers in the long term.
“The view of train companies is that freeing them up to bring more commercial nous into the railways has the potential to save hundreds of millions of pounds every year.
“The review team recognises that franchise reform needs to be one the key areas to look at. Longer and more flexible franchises that give train operators a greater stake in the railways would drive down costs and allow them to deliver service improvements more quickly and effectively. The private sector needs more of a say when it comes to issues such as reviewing the priority and scope of projects currently delivered by Network Rail, ordering new rolling stock and managing stations.
“It is also important to focus on infrastructure projects which provide the greatest benefit to the travelling public and the taxpayer, including smaller projects which often deliver good levels of return. That is as relevant to the McNulty review’s long term view of cost in the railway, as it could be to making savings in the short term.
“We fully support the McNulty Review and look forward to working with the review team and the rest of the industry