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Railways: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 66970, tabled on 30 June 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the COVID Emergency Management Arrangements (EMA) with Train Operating Companies (TOC), what provisions are included in the EMA to ensure that TOCs are not in a financially advantageous position under the EMA than their financial performance under their franchise agreements in the months before the covid-19 lockdown.

Answered on

8 July 2020

The Emergency Measures Agreements (EMAs) temporarily suspend the normal financial mechanisms of franchise agreements, transferring all revenue and cost risk to the government. Operators are required to continue to fulfil their obligations under the EMAs for a small, pre-determined management fee. Fees are set at a maximum of 2 per cent of the cost base of the franchise before the Covid-19 pandemic began, intended to incentivise operators to meet reliability, punctuality and other targets. The maximum fee attainable was set on the basis that it will be lower than the returns attainable in operator’s existing franchise agreements where they bore revenue risk.