In response to the National Audit Office report ‘Increasing Passenger Rail Capacity’, a spokesperson for the Association of Train Operating Companies said:
“Reform of the industry that gives private sector train companies a greater role in the railways would be the best way to ensure value for money and help to bring about cost effective ways to deal with overcrowding.
“Greater responsibility for train companies in ordering new carriages and more opportunity for operators to scrutinise Network Rail’s spend on infrastructure projects would help to drive down costs, save hundreds of millions of pounds and give passengers and taxpayers the best deal.
“The provision of 1300 additional carriages pledged by the previous Government was the minimum required to address overcrowding and progress on this was slow. We recognise the need for austerity given the current economic climate, but now that the delivery of further carriages has been put on hold we need to find a better system which gives operators greater responsibility to order carriages more quickly and cost effectively.
“Train companies have the knowledge and experience to find cost effective ways of dealing with capacity problems. In the earlier days of privatisation when franchises were less prescriptive, train companies had significant success in improving capacity by adjusting trains’ lengths and their stopping patterns.”