The Enterprise and Business
Committee has undertaken an inquiry into the future of the
Wales and Borders Rail Franchise.
The terms of
reference for the inquiry were:
- What lessons can be learnt from the current
- What priorities can be identified to ensure
that rail passenger services in Wales and the borders provide the
best possible service for passengers from 2018?
- How can service delivery after 2018 deliver
connectivity and value for money for passengers while reducing the
burden on the tax payer?
Issues that the
Committee considered as part of these terms of reference
- Whether the current franchise meets
passenger needs and what lessons should be learnt from
- How passengers should be involved in the
franchise development and delivery;
- How communities and local government / Regional
Transport Consortia should be involved. Could they be involved in
specifying the franchise or perhaps even in delivering
- The management model to be adopted, including
the Welsh Government’s proposal for a not-for-dividend
- How the franchise specification should improve
the passenger experience, including issues such as franchise
length, targets / incentives and the core service standards which
should be included;
- The routes, particularly cross-border routes,
which should be included;
- The rolling stock needed for the new franchise.
What factors need to be considered and how this should be procured?
Will new rolling stock be required?
- Whether additional lines, enhancements to
existing lines, new stations or other infrastructure are needed;
- Whether the franchise can support an enhanced
relationship between Network Rail and the franchise operator and
the benefits this might bring.