The Department for Transport has been heavily criticised by a Parliamentary committee for leaving taxpayers to take all the financial risk associated with three major rolling stock contracts worth a total of £10.5 billion. MP Margaret Hodge, who chairs the Committee of Public Accounts, said: “The Department for Transport’s decision to buy the new trains for Intercity Express and Thameslink has left the taxpayer bearing all the risk. If passenger forecasts are wrong and fewer new trains are needed in future taxpayers will have to pick up the bill."
The launch of new National Rail timetables has seen a station added to the network in South Wales as well as more routes and services in other areas, including the restoration of through London services for Shrewsbury and Blackpool, but progress on another new station at Ilkeston in Derbyshire has been delayed. At the same time, Network Rail has been rebuked by the Office of Rail Regulation over its performance since the start of Control Period 5 in April.
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