Public Accounts Committee report on West Coast Main Line

Report (48 pages, 6.3M PDF) of the House of Commons' Public Accounts Committee on the handling of the West Coast Main Line railway infrastructure upgrade project by Network Rail, the Department for Transport and the Office of Rail Regulation. The report is based on the NAO's value for money inquiry report published in November 2006.

The MPs claim that “The current compensation scheme for loss of track access is unclear and may lead to higher levels of compensation being paid to Train Operating Companies than necessary”, and endorses the work on a single compensation regime for all types of possessions initiated by ORR.

Network Rail is given advice on various areas of management and operational planning. DfT and ORR are advised to “take more seriously the stress and inconvenience caused by persistent overcrowding, avoiding any suggestion that passengers should resign themselves to it”. DfT is also asked to encourage train operators to make fares clearer, particularly for passengers who do not use the Internet.

A DfT memorandum at the end of the report provides information on subsidy levels for all franchised train operators in England (actual payments in 2004/2005 and 2005/2006 and forecast payments to the end of each franchise). It also has a table of sample walk-up and advance fares.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under DfT, NAO, ORR, Public transport, UK parliaments.

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