Minister lets go of rail franchises

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THE North of England is to get a greater say in the running of its railways as part of a new partnership between councils and Whitehall.

Rail North, representing 33 transport authorities, has agreed a deal with the Department for Transport to take on the management of the Northern and TransPennine Rail Franchises.

A Northern Rail train

A Northern Rail train

Competitions to operate these franchises will be run in 2016.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the move would result in more devolved decision making. He said: “I am pleased to have agreed further details with Rail North regarding our partnership to run rail services in the North of England for the benefit of passengers and taxpayers.

“I am determined to give local people a greater say in the running of their railways and this will make sure they are at the heart of these decisions.”

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