A future for open access?

Can Open Access providers give greater competition, help reduce subsidy and improve passenger services, video:

and its associated report available here. It is based on work by the Centre for Policy Studies.

BRUG doesn’t have a position on the ownership of the railway, as long as it operated for the public benefit. The brief report does raise interesting questions about franchising, especially as first promoted that competition will improve services, though the policy ever since has been to limit the service providers to geographic or route based sectors.

In Bradford we have a limited open access service with Grand Central, has it increased the number of services to London – Yes, has it reduced the ticket price – The walk-up fee is lower than East Coast – (On its route).

This is an issue greater than the railway in Bradford however it is a discussion to be had both regionally and nationally. But for example 50 private and state companies provide public transport in Zurich.

January 2013 Fair rises

The Department for Transport will allow train operators to raise fares by inflation (RPI) plus 3%. This could lead to fare rises of 6.2%.

Northern Rail and Metro will now work together to agree how the rise will be distributed across the fare structure.

BRUG will be contacting both organisations to campaign for a minimum increase following several years of doubled-up fare rises: RPI +3% + WY premium [BBC] which lead to a 10% fare rise last year.

The next meeting of BRUG is listed here.

10% fares increase in West Yorkshire

Rail fares in West Yorkshire will increase by 10% from January 2012.

There is the RPI plus 3% to all fares, plus. 2% leasing fee for the extra carriages due in December 2011.

BRUG are currently investigating how Metro were not aware of these increases and what fight was put up against the DfT to avoid them.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-14421508

The McNulty Review

BRUG’s next meeting (6th June 2011) we will be discussing Sir Roy McNulty’s review into Rail Value for Money.

The full report is available here, and the summary here.

The meeting will also discuss the recent announcement of extra carriages on the Caldervale line and Airedale lines.

A brief update on the Cross Rail project will also be provided. An unusual viewhttp://www.flickr.com/people/neilt/ of Bradford – the potential for Cross Rail.

DFT funding cuts affect carriages

Philip Hammond

Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Transport

As reported in the T&A, the Secretary of State for Transport has announced a suspension of purchasing new train carriages.

BRUG are obviously disappointed by the announcement, however we will lobby for the Department of Transport to reverse it’s decision, as stated in the NAO report, the PTE’s/ITA’s (Metro) are also strongly upset by the decision. They believe that their planning and their views have been disregarded.

However it is clear from the report that the previous Government and Network Rail have over specified the number of carriages:

The Office of Rail Regulation had specified that occupancy had to be reduced to 70% in Leeds, however Network Rail’s plan would have reduced occupancy to 59%.

BRUG will continue to push for improved rail services and capacity in Bradford and the West Yorkshire region. There is very limited capacity in Bradford and genuine demand for seats. We are campaigning for more seats and more capacity, not just wanting “nice looking trains”.

East Coast Branding / Northern Short Trains!

£330,000 to rebrand “East Coast” – Read more …. Continue reading

£15.2m for two escalators and a ticket barrier

Leeds station’s new south entrance has been approved. At a cost of £15.2million  it will provide easier access to the station from “Holbeck Village”. The entrace will have passenger information, ticket sales and ticket barriers at bridge level.

Having a knowledge of escalators and elevators thurst upon me at home, can someone explain why the proposed solution costs £15.2million?

For those familar with the area, the proposed entrance is in the wrong place for many commuters and will have most benefit to guests at City Inn hotel.

It could have been achieved for a much lower price, but we welcome the development if it increases the number of passengers using the station.

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