Rail franchising ‘ended’ to create ‘more effective structure’

PA

Rail franchising has been "ended" by extending measures introduced to keep trains running after the coronavirus outbreak, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.

Operators have been moved to "transitional contracts" ahead of the creation of a "simpler and more effective structure" which will be developed over the coming months, the DfT said.

The department has taken on franchise holders' revenue and cost risks since March, at a cost to taxpayers of at least £3.5 billion.

"Significant taxpayer support will still be needed" under the new Emergency Recovery Management Agreements, the DfT said.