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A review of passenger rail franchising in Britain: 1996/1997-2006/2007

  • Preston, John
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    This paper reviews 10 years of passenger rail franchising in Great Britain and highlights problems in three areas: the tension between commercial and social objectives; the presence of risks and uncertainty; and vulnerability to strategic behaviour such as low-balling, chiselling and back loading. It concludes that franchising has had some good features (such as the high level of competitive pressure) but also some bad features (such as a high rate of franchise failures). In addition, an ugly feature of franchising is the scope for strategic behaviour. Further reform is suggested based on a distinction between commercial and social franchises.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B8JHM-4TJ1BSB-1/2/cf70248182968d97fa93600193516072
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research in Transportation Economics.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 71-77

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:retrec:v:22:y:2008:i:1:p:71-77
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    1. Yvrande-Billon, Anne & Menard, Claude, 2005. "Institutional constraints and organizational changes: the case of the British rail reform," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 675-699, April.
    2. J Cowie, 2002. "Subsidy and Productivity in the Privatised British Passenger Railway," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 7(1), pages 25-38, March.
    3. Richard D Knowles, 2004. "Impacts of privatising Britain's rail passenger services -- franchising, refranchising, and Ten Year Transport Plan targets," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 36(11), pages 2065-2087, November.
    4. Pollitt, M. & Smith, A.S.J., 2001. "The Restructuring and Privatisation of British Rail: Was it really that bad?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0118, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    5. Gourvish, Terry, 2002. "British Rail 1974-1997: From Integration to Privatisation," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199250059.
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