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Great British Railways Shake Up – What Are The FM Opportunities?

Great British Railways Shake Up – What Are The FM Opportunities?
20 May 2021
 

The Department for Transport has today announced that a new public body, Great British Railways, will integrate the railways and manage all rail infrastructure.

This will be the biggest change in railway infrastructure in 25 years. The public body will collect fare revenue, run and plan the network, and set most fares and timetables.

What might this change mean for the related facilities management contracts? 

 

FM Contracts 

 

The government has stated that there will remain a "substantial and often greater role for the private sector" within the new system. GBR will contract private partners to operate most trains to the timetables and fares it specifies, with a model similar to that used by Transport for London in its Overground and Docklands Light Railway services.

It is not yet clear whether cleaning and security contracts will also be managed through private partners, or will be subject to a public sector procurement process.

 

Image

 

More Ethical Tendering?

 

The new Passenger Service Contracts are intended to remove barriers to new market entrants, including by no longer basing competitions on complex and uncertain revenue forecasts. Private operators will therefore be challenged to provide a competitive and customer-focused offer, delivering greater value-for-money for the taxpayer.

In order to win government work, organisations must be able to prove how they’ll deliver on social value. As set out in the procurement policy note: “Taking Account of Social Value in the Award of Central Government Contracts,” from 1 January 2021 “social value should be explicitly evaluated in all central government procurement.”

Previously, under the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, social value only needed to be “considered”.

This marks a growing emphasis on corporate social responsibility and sustainability, a move which can be seen in the wider facilities management world as organisations seek to re-prioritise green initiatives. Might these rules now apply to railway contracts?

Picture: a photograph of a train on a track

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 20 May 2021

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