In response to the publication of ‘Reforming our Railways’, Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies said:
“Government and the industry are committed to making the railways more affordable. Reducing costs is key to achieving the triple goal of limiting fare rises, reducing taxpayer support and ensuring investment to tackle overcrowding and improve services.
“The Command Paper sets out a framework for train operators, Network Rail and others to work together for a better railway. Train companies are ready to play their part and Ministers must now seize this once-in –a-generation opportunity to turn reform into reality.
“Contracts signed between rail operators and Government over the next two years will define how trains are run for the next two decades. The Government must genuinely step back from the detail, give the railways the freedom to run better services at a lower cost and resist increasing the burden of red tape.
“It is also high time to take a fresh look at fares and ticketing. The way that fares are regulated by the Government has remained largely unchanged since privatisation and often no longer reflects how people travel or buy their tickets. Smart ticketing presents a great opportunity to make things easier for passengers and to offer people a more flexible way of travelling.”