Require the Secretary of State to assume control of passenger rail franchises
when they come up for renewal; and for connected purposes.
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
When any existing private rail franchise comes up for renewal, it shall revert to
the control of the Secretary of State, who shall allocate it to a public body
nominated or established under this section.
Existing private rail franchises shall also revert to the control of the Secretary
of State, if the Secretary of State considers that it would be more economic and
efficient for a franchise to be operated by a public body nominated by the
Secretary of State.
The Secretary of State may by order establish a public body to take control of
one or more passenger rail franchises, or may by order nominate an existing
public body to do so, and in either case the order may make provisions for the
appointment and governance of such a body.
In respect of existing Scotrail passenger services the public body referred to
above will be nominated by the Scottish Government.
In respect of existing Wales and Borders passenger services the public body
referred to above will be nominated by the Secretary of State in consultation
with the Welsh Assembly Government.
The existing public body or new public body described in subsection (3) above
may operate railway freight services and control railway infrastructure, rolling
stock and associated functions if the Secretary of State believes it is economic
and efficient for it to do so.
Railways BillPage 2
Section 25 of the Railways Act 1993 (Passenger services to be subject to
franchise agreements) is repealed.
The Secretary of State may by order amend the Railways Act 1993 to make
provisions consequential on Sections 1 or 2 of this Act.
A statutory instrument containing an order under this Act may not be made
unless a draft of it has been laid before and approved by resolution of each
House of Parliament.
There is to be paid out of money provided by Parliament—
any expenditure incurred under or in consequence of this Act by the Secretary
of State, and
any increase attributable to this Act in the sums payable under any other Act
out of money so provided.
From the commencement of this Act, no new franchise may be awarded to a
body other than one nominated or established under Section 1.
(1) This Act may be cited as the Railways Act 2015.
(2) This Act comes into force on the day on which it is passed.
(3) This Act extends to England and Wales and Scotland.