John MacGregor, when Transport Secretary, wrote in 1994: "British Rail's record on productivity, service, safety and punctuality is impressive and it is known to run one of the most efficient railway systems in Europe".
In a parliamentary answer last week, the Transport Minister John Watts acknowledged that the eight franchises let so far will cost the taxpayer pounds l9m more in 1996/97 than if BR were still running them.
BR's downward pressure on expenditure produced a reduction of 5.7 per cent in unit passenger train operating costs in 1995/96, continuing a trend that has been established for many years.
JOHN K WELSBY
Chairman and Chief Executive
British Railways Board
London NW1Reuse content