Catalogue description Records of the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising

Details of KA
Reference: KA
Title: Records of the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising

Records of the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising, established to secure rail passenger services by franchise during privatisation, include

annual reports in KA 1 and overviews of the passenger rail industry in KA 2

Date: 1993-1999
Related material:

See AN for the records of the British Transport Commission and the British Railways Board and successors See RAIL for the records of the pre-nationalisation railway companies, London Passenger Transport Board and successors

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Office of Passenger Rail Franchising, 1993-

Physical description: 2 series
Access conditions: Open
Immediate source of acquisition:

Office of Passenger Rail Franchising , from 1996

Administrative / biographical background:

The Office of Passenger Rail Franchising (OPRAF) formally came into existence on 8 November 1993 following the enactment of the Railways Act 1993. The Act provided for the appointment by the Secretary of State for Transport of a Director of Passenger Rail Franchising, known as the Franchising Director. The first Franchising Director, Roger Salmon, was appointed on 8 November 1993 and the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising has been constituted as a non-ministerial government department since that date.

The Franchising Director played an important part in rail privatisation by taking responsibility for securing the provision of railway passenger services by entering into franchise agreements, and continues to select franchisees through a competitive tendering process. The Franchising Director's main functions are laid down in the Act as follows:

to designate passenger rail services or groups of such services eligible for provision under franchise agreements; to invite tenders from prospective franchisees for the provision of services and to enter into franchise agreements; to consider whether provisions are necessary to ensure that fares to be charged by franchisees are reasonable and to secure the participation by franchisees in approved discount fare schemes; to form a view on proposed closures of passenger services and to initiate the formal closure procedures or, if his view is that a closure should not be permitted to take effect, to secure the continuation of the service; to encourage railway investment; to promote the provision of staff concessionary travel; to provide support for those passenger services which British Rail provided under European Community.

The Act requires the Franchising Director to exercise his statutory functions so as to fulfil objectives given to him by the Secretary of State for Transport.

The Franchising Director heads the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising, which is comprised of the Secretariat, the Finance Unit, Office Services, Personnel and several franchising teams, each headed by an assistant director, with responsibility for specific franchises.

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