Posted on February 3, 2016 · Posted in General IRO news, North East

At a recent North East Area event, Rufus Boyd (Director, Interfleet Transport Advisory) gave a talk to members about the purpose of franchise bidding.

Rufus, a former TOC Director and bidding veteran, discussed why the Franchise Bid process consumes huge resources from TOC owning groups, consultancies and the DfT, and considered whether these transaction costs are worth paying for the outcome achieved.  The presentation also sought to explore realistic alternatives.

Emyrs Warriner (Vice Chairman, North East Area), who joined members at the event to broaden his knowledge of the industry, provides the following account:

At this event members all received an interesting, factual, funny and explorative talk. The title was a challenge to the audience, and even remained the discussion of the audience in the bar after the talk had finished!

The talk started by Rufus explaining why he’d been invited to talk to the IRO audience and he provided an overview of the role of the company he worked for… “Interfleet Transport Advisory”. The company clearly is a world-wide influencer in the future of railways.

Rufus then took us through a journey of why we started franchising at all, what the alternative options available were, and some of the strengths and weaknesses of this process.

It was exceptionally clear that there isn’t a “right way” or a “wrong way” however, there is statistical proof that the UK rail industry is growing far faster and stronger than its counterparts in Europe who all agreed to the same delivery model (only the UK and Sweden implemented it in full).

The journey of the talk then moved to the findings of reports such as McNulty, Laidlaw, Brown and Shaw. What would this mean to the success story of UK rail, albeit not a cheap success story… Some of these changes are starting to be seen, but the real consistent challenge is to continuously improve in every area.

To find out what events are being held in your area, please click or tap here.