Report claims possible rethink over National Rail Contracts

The government is said to be poised to reintroduce a degree of commercial freedom in National Rail Contracts, with the intention of allowing operators to increase profits. It has been reported that the owners of operators are urging the government to loosen the tight restrictions of the present contracts. These were introduced in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic which led to the conventional franchises being suspended in March 2020 and then cancelled in September. The need to attract more passengers and increase earnings was emphasised by transport secretary Mark Harper last week.