Why is franchising falling over?

IF YOU could find a time machine and set its dial for spring 1997, you would arrive at a time when the first round of rail franchising had just been completed.

The Conservatives were determined to complete railway privatisation before the General Election (because they had a gloomy presentiment that Labour would win, as indeed it did), but it was a close-run thing. The last franchise (ScotRail) began on 31 March 1997, even as the election was already under way. When the vote was held on 1 May, Tony Blair’s Labour Party romped home. Continue reading