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Title: The identification of criteria for the franchising of rail services in the UK
Author: Watts, James Michael
ISNI:       0000 0001 3564 5923
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2006
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The 1993 Railways Act introduced rail privatisation. Franchising was the strategy chosen by the UK government. Numerous franchising strategies have subsequently been used by the awarding authority. This research tracked their evolution and their impact upon perceived end user needs. Analysis of end and intermediary user needs from franchising underpinned development of an improved franchising regime that meets user needs more specifically. Results from the Literature Review, Local Stakeholder Consultation, German rail franchising fieldwork, Rail Franchising Consultation Document and NPS Chi-Square analysis helped formulate recommendations for improvements. These include: Compliance with EC Directive 2004/17 is needed for an improved franchising regime. The Directive requires quantification and disclosure of criteria for the procurement of services. The research identifies this as a bidder need. From a bidder perspective, franchises must allow operators commercial freedom and not subject them to excessive numbers of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) which represent excessive micro-management on the part of the awarding authority. Primary selection criteria should reflect identified end user needs, encompassing; train service punctuality and reliability, rolling stock, information provision and ticketing and fares. Variations in rankings for franchises should be derived from analysis of NPS passenger satisfaction results. The desirable franchise length from an end user and bidder perspective is either a 15 year Enhanceable Franchise or 20 year franchise strategy. Higher NPS scores are achieved by operators across the franchise period under these strategies, in contrast to short-term strategies. From both end user and bidder perspectives, franchise operators should focus upon service delivery, with options to invest in infrastructure upgrades, alongside other industry stakeholders. During bid evaluation, a common consensus must be sought by the awarding authority from evaluation teams, in the selection of the highest scoring bidder across all assessment areas.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available