DfT working on secret market-led rail proposals

 

The Department for Transport (DfT) has spent more than six months working with industry on 10 secret 'market-led proposals' (MLPs) to help improve the national rail network.

The news follows a 'call for ideas' last year, in which the DfT asked the private sector to put forward proposals for improving aspects such as capacity or efficiency on the rail network, which would require no government funding.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling recently wrote to the Transport Select Committee and confirmed that it had received 30 market-led proposals (MLPs) in response and identified 10 'that were potentially financially credible without government support'.

He added: 'My Department continues to engage with these proposals, working collaboratively across government and with other stakeholders to explore the feasibility and strategic alignment of these schemes.'

When asked to confirm what the proposals were and who they were from, a DfT spokesperson said: 'It would be inappropriate to discuss details of individual proposals at this time due to commercial sensitivities.'

They added that the Department responded to those proposals in December 2018 and so has apprently been working on them for more than six months.

At the time the DfT called for the proposals, Transport Network highlighted some of the apparent inconsistencies in the plan - including private companies potentially having to go through a procurement process to win work for their own idea. 

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