The future of the Wales and Borders Rail Franchise

The Enterprise and Business Committee undertook 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 franchise?
  • 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?


Key issues

Issues that the Committee considered as part of these terms of reference included:

  • Whether the current franchise meets passenger needs and what lessons should be learnt from it;
  • 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 services?
  • The management model to be adopted, including the Welsh Government’s proposal for a not-for-dividend franchise;
  • 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; and
  • Whether the franchise can support an enhanced relationship between Network Rail and the franchise operator and the benefits this might bring.

Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: Complete

First published: 30/07/2013