HC Deb 22 July 1996 vol 282 c15W
Mrs. Dunwoody

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what arrangements he is making to ensure the British Railways Board maintains expertise in running trains against the event of a franchise being surrendered. [38529]

Mr. Watts

None. In the event that a franchise agreement is terminated and another agreement is not entered into at the same time, the franchising director is required under the Railways Act 1993 to secure the continued provision of passenger services. Generally, he would do this by transferring to another company the business in respect of which the franchise agreement had been terminated. It is expected that the staff of the business would also be transferred, ensuring that the expertise needed to run the passenger services safely, and with continuity, would remain available to the business. In the event that any staff of the business who were essential to its safe operation did not so transfer, arrangements are in place to ensure that they would quickly be replaced with suitably skilled staff.