Imagine. Peter Fahy commutes every day from Fleet in Hampshire to London Waterloo. Peter travels with South West Trains ten times a week. Assuming he works around 45 weeks a year, allowing for leave and sickness, he experiences the service about 450 times a year. His rail-only annual season ticket now costs £3,520. Peter has just taken part in an online poll about the possible extension of the franchise for another three years. Who better could be placed to judge whether or not the train company should keep the franchise?

Far fetched? Perhaps, but in the current debates about the future of franchising one thing is clear – the voice of the passenger should get a boost. Any new system has to work for passengers, taxpayers, the Government and the private sector. Keeping all parties happy is going to be difficult unless the new system is radically refocused on the needs and voice of what is now the rail industry’s principal source of funding – the passenger. While you can argue about what financing is included and what is not, it is clear the journey towards the railways becoming funded principally by its users has moved along quickly.

Why not discuss this on our Forum.

One comment

  1. andrew meade says:

    as the government want the fare payer to pay 75% of the cost they now must have a greater say in how the railway franchise is run or who runs it .
    At the moment the government decides by who will run the franchise by who will pay the most and forgets about customer service ,train realability ,on time railway as proven with south west trains.
    We were told it would be customer driven ,yet all we have seen more closed ticket offices more unmanned stations more late trains and worse customer service and a massive increase in stagecoaches profit.

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