Evidence sessions into Rail fares and franchises

The House of Commons Transport Committee has today announced that it will hold two public evidence sessions on Rail fares and franchises. The Committee will hear from rail operating companies, passenger groups, and unions before questioning the minister.

The Committee will look at the recent increases in rail fares, implemented in January 2009, whereby regulated fares increased by an average of 6% and unregulated fares by an average of 7%. In its White Paper of July 2007, the Government indicated that, in future, passengers will bear a greater share of the cost of running the railway, reducing the burden on taxpayers.

The Committee will also examine the implications of the recession on rail franchises. Some rail companies have suggested reductions in staff numbers or the number of train carriages, and amendments to franchise agreements, in order to reduce costs.

The first session will take place on Wednesday 4 February 2009 at 2.45 pm in Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster. The following will give evidence:

Time Witnesses

2.45 pm First Group

National Express Trains

Virgin Trains


First Hull Trains

3.30 pm Passenger Focus

London TravelWatch


4.15 pm National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT)

Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA)

Lord Adonis, Minister of State for Transport will give evidence on Wednesday 25 February 2009 at 2.45pm in the Wilson Room, Portcullis House.

These timings are approximate and the sessions may start slightly earlier or later than advertised.


1. Committee Membership is as follows: Mrs Louise Ellman (Chairman) (Liverpool Riverside), Mr David Clelland (Tyne Bridge), Mr Philip Hollobone (Kettering), Mr John Leech (Manchester Withington), Mr Eric Martlew (Carlisle), Mr Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin), Ms Angela C Smith (Labour, Sheffield, Hillsborough), Sir Peter Soulsby (Labour, Leicester South), Mr Graham Stringer (Manchester Blackley), Mr David Wilshire (Spelthorne), Sammy Wilson (East Antrim).

2. Transcripts of evidence sessions for the Committee's inquiries can be found on the Committee website at:

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