HC Deb 21 October 2002 vol 391 cc6-7W
Mrs. Dunwoody

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many rail operating companies have achieved their targets for passenger services in the last 12 months; how many have been fined for noncompliance; how many franchises have now been continued; and how many operating companies are complying with the terms of their original franchises in relation to payments to the S.R.A. [74787]

Mr. Spellar

All franchise agreements contain thresholds for cancellations which, if breached, can result in enforcement action. Arriva Trains Northern is the only company to have paid a penalty in the last 12 months as part of enforcement action.

Most train operators are also subject to a contractual performance regime. Details of monies paid under this regime are contained in the Strategic Rail Authority's On Track publication, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House. Train operators also have performance targets in their Passengers' Charters against which compensation to passengers is based.

No further extensions to franchises have been agreed since my answer to the hon. Member for Bath on 24 May 2002, Official Report, column 616.

Only a small number of train operating companies are contractually required under their original or revised agreements to have paid premiums to the Strategic Rail Authority. To date, all of those companies have complied with their franchise terms in that respect. Information on payments to and from train operators can be found in the Authority's Annual Report, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House.