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V1015 - Railways Bill 2016 Watch

  • View Poll Results: Should this bill be passed into law?
    As many are of the opinion, Aye
    63.04%
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    V1015 - Railways Bill 2016, Her Majesty's Government
    A
    B I L L
    TO

    Improve railway competition and increase the value for money from the taxpayer.

    BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

    1 Franchise tendering process
    (1) Network Rail shall determine the timetable for every railway route in the United Kingdom on the basis of need and service congestion.
    (2) Railway operating companies shall submit a bid to Network Rail, expressing their interest in operating services.
    (3) Network Rail shall then decide which railway operating company shall run which services.
    (4) When service frequency is more than once per hour, two individual operators will be granted the right to operate services
    (5) Network Rail will distribute said services equally on a per hour basis.
    (6) Unfilled time slots will be operated by 'Directly Operated Railways', a subsidiary of Network Rail, and will run under the trading name 'British Rail'.
    (7) The criteria for choosing successful bids are, in order from most important to least, as follows—
    (a) Trains operating on future ultra high speed lines must be capable of a top cruising speed of at least 200mph; greater speeds are better.
    (b) Trains operating on the old high speed lines must be capable of a top speed of at least 125mph; greater speeds are better.
    (c) Projected ticket prices; low prices are better.
    (d) Quality of the service; higher quality is better.
    (e) For all other lines, greater speeds are better.
    (8) Franchise routes in which subsidy has historically being required will require a minimum bid to be reached during the tendering process, where this floor price is not met, the franchise will be under the ownership and operation of Directly Operated Railways

    2 Removal of barriers to entry for 'open access'/private rail operators
    Moderation of competition franchise clauses would be removed from all new franchise agreements

    3 Uniform operating franchise periods
    (1) Uniform operating franchise periods of up to nine years would be applied to all rail operating franchises
    (2) Franchises would be reviewed every two years and revoked if punctuality, reliability or overcrowding targets are not met.
    (3) Aforementioned targets are to be clearly defined by the Office for Rail Regulation.

    4 Greater freedom for rail operators
    (1) Rail operating companies must purchase or lease their own rail assets; such as, but not limited to, rolling stock, subject to compliance of current and future technical regulations.
    (2) All new franchise agreements will hereby stipulate that no operator is to use rolling more than 30 years of age

    5 Reform of fair rise
    (1) Rail fares would rise at an average of CPI+4% once per year and capped at 10% on each franchise route
    (2) During times of high inflation (defined in this case as being a CPI in excess of 4% for a period of twelve months or more) the Secretary Of State for Transport will have the discretionary power to increase rail fares at a level above that already mentioned.

    6 Fault
    (1) Where a service is delayed due to maintenance on or malfunctions of tracks, signals, electrical cabling and other infrastructure owned by British Railways, there is no at fault third party.
    (2) Where a service is delayed due to a different service being delayed, the railway operating company of the latter service is the at fault third party (it is 'at fault').
    (3) In all other instances of services being delayed, the railway operating company for that service is the at fault third party (it is 'at fault').
    (4) Network Rail shall fine the at fault third party for the full cost of all compensation paid out to passengers in accordance with Sections 3(6) to 3(8).
    (5) Railway operating companies will be fined 10% of their revenue for the tax year if more than 25% of their services for that tax year are delayed, excluding those where this railway operating company is not at fault.
    (6) At the end of each tax year, railway operating companies will be fined 1% of their revenue for that tax year for each service which is very late, partially cancelled or cancelled, excluding those where this railway operating company is not at fault.
    (7) Railway operating companies will be deemed unable to complete their contract if the number of incidents for which they are at fault exceeds 25% of the total services run by that railway operating company.
    (8) When a railway operating company is deemed unable to complete their contract their services are replaced by Directly Operated Railways until the next auction.

    7 Network Rail
    (1) The Secretary of State will take over control of Network Rail from the current guarantors.
    (2) The Secretary of State will appoint a—
    (a) Managing Director, and a
    (b) Financial Director, and an
    (c) Infrastructure Director, and a
    (d) Maintenance Director, and a
    (e) Services Director;
    who will form a new Board of Directors.
    (3) Network Rail will set a price to charge railway companies per mile of track for usage for the next contract period upon application for use by an open access operator.. Prices should be chosen such that the profit of Network Rail is equal to or greater than, but as close to, £0.00 as possible.

    8 Commencement, extent and short title
    (1) This Act comes into force on the day after the date of Royal assent.
    – Parts one, two, three and four will apply as the current franchise agreements come to their contractual conclusion.
    – Parts five and six will apply immediately.
    (2) This Act extends to the whole of England.
    (3) This Act may be cited as the Railways Act 2016.

    Notes
    Spoiler:
    Show

    With UK passenger numbers at near record levels one goal of this bill is to allow greater access to to the rail network for private companies who pay the Department For Transport an access fee. Allowing these private operators to use the rail network not only increases competition forcing down prices but increases capacity. These private operators are also able to adapt to changes in demand at a much quicker pace than those companies restricted by franchise agreements and as a result open access rail operators typically poll highly in terms of customer satisfaction. One major barrier to entry for these firms is that some franchise agreements contain 'moderation of competition' clauses which effectively prevent private companies from providing services (one example being grand central wanting a Huddersfield to London service via Birmingham but who were blocked by Virgin).

    Currently the franchises awarded to the rail operating companies are a mish mash extending as much as 25 years or as little as 2 years, we propose franchise periods of up to 9 years with reviews every 2 years and the revoking of said franchise if targets relating to punctuality, reliability or overcrowding are not met. This puts greater pressure on the rail operators to provide a service deemed to be acceptable.

    In order to give franchisees greater powers to meet changes in demand from the consumer, regulation would be loosened so that rail operators would be allowed to purchase extra vehicles outright. This allows rail operators to increase capacity at will to meet the changes in demands of the consumer.

    Current pricing mechanisms allow rail operators to increase fares using an an annual inflation index (RPI) twice per year across the franchise routes. Given that RPI is an annual measure and peak rail fares are already the highest in Europe the government proposes that a single increase in rail fares take place of RPI+4% and capped at 10%. This will give greater protection to the consumer and force rail operators into efficiency savings (leasing a newer, more reliable vehicle for example to reduce the cost of maintenance).

    Old (RPI+1% twice per year) - assume RPI is the first percentage below

    2%+1%*2=6%
    3%+1%*2=8%
    4%+1%*2=10%

    New (RPI+4% once per year) - assume RPI is the first percentage below

    2%+4%=6%
    3%+4%=7%
    4%+4%=8%
    5%+4%=9%
    6%+4%=10%

    So you see that when RPI is above target my proposed system leads to a lower rice in the rail fairs than the new one.

    Currently Network Rail is a public unfunded liability which still takes significant direction from government, this bill brings Network Rail under the direct remit of government. This bill also highlights the responsibilities and procedures carried out by Network Rail with regards to fault and tenders.

    Further reading..

    McNulty Report
    http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publication...il-summary.pdf

    Differing solutions
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...e-alternatives

    Command Paper
    http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publication...r-railways.pdf



    Changes for Vote
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    – Addition of section 3.3
    – Minor grammatical and format changes.
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    Nay. The Socialist Bill before the House right now is a better option.
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    Nay. This is even worse than the current system.
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    (Original post by barnetlad)
    Nay. This is even worse than the current system.
    So a monopoly is better than competition? Well, I guess to you the only way to improve the current system is to make it a state monopoly

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    Convince me this is better than the status quo.
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    (Original post by cBay)
    Convince me this is better than the status quo.
    It does a couple of things..

    1) It makes the state the operator on routes which would normally require subsidy or only have one operator.

    2) It has two operators competing on routes with services at least every 30 minutes.

    3) It grants operators the freedom to purchase extra stock rather than wait on the whim of the state or use the same old crap they inherited with the franchise

    4) It removes moderation of competition clauses from franchise agreements in which the state repulsively creates private monopolies. This encourages open access operators to run additional services (often with innovative routes)

    5) It creates the legal framework for operators to be stripped of their franchise if they are deemed to be at fault for failures over a sustained period (this would likely encompass Southern Railways).
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    After the failure of the Socialist Bill - which should be resubmitted next term - Mr Speaker, please change my vote to an aye. For some reason I can't tag, I assume some member of the govt will do so for me.
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    After the failure of the Socialist Bill - which should be resubmitted next term - Mr Speaker, please change my vote to an aye. For some reason I can't tag, I assume some member of the govt will do so for me.
    Saracen's Fez
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    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    After the failure of the Socialist Bill - which should be resubmitted next term - Mr Speaker, please change my vote to an aye. For some reason I can't tag, I assume some member of the govt will do so for me.
    One No has been changed to an Aye.
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    The rails need competition.
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    Well this is better than the status quo so Saracen's Fez one aye from a no please
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    (Original post by Aph)
    Well this is better than the status quo so Saracen's Fez one aye from a no please
    One No has been changed to an Aye.
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    One double vote has been removed for seat 26 (Birchington for Airmed) (–1 Aye).

    One double vote has been removed for seat 48 (Kyx for Little Toy Gun) (–1 No).
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    Ayes to the right: 29
    Noes to the left: 13
    Abstentions: 4

    The Ayes have it! The Ayes have it! Unlock!

    Turnout: 92%
 
 
 
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