With Franchising and Nationalisation having failed, John asks Ministers whether the Government will look at his third option…

Below is a full written copy of John’s Question and the Minister’s answer:

John Penrose (Weston-super-Mare) (Con)

Angry and frustrated passengers in the south-east and elsewhere will have been delighted to hear the Secretary of State say that rail franchising is not working anymore, but will the Minister confirm that swapping the uncaring private sector monopolies of franchising for the equally ​uncaring state monopoly of renationalisation will not help overcrowded or stranded passengers one bit? Will he accept that we need a new and third option in which passengers can choose between lots of different provider services on their line each day and switch to whichever one they like best, in the same way as they choose different brands of coffee or cornflakes instead of taking whatever they are given?

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Chris Heaton-Harris)

I hear what my hon. Friend says. There is an argument for open access on our railways. The Williams review, which will report in the near future, will provide an opportunity to debate the issue at quite some length. I very much look forward to having that debate with my hon. Friend because he has some positive ideas.