Dawn Primarolo MP's reply to constituents regarding the Railways Bill:
"Thank you for your recent email asking me to support the Railways Bill which is due to have its Second Reading in the House of Commons on Friday 27 February.
As Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons I cannot take part in Parliamentary votes and therefore will not be able to vote in favour of the Railways Bill, however, I do recognise that our railways need fundamental reform.
Labour is clear that we need change to secure a better deal for taxpayers and passengers. A future Labour Government would review the whole franchising process and legislate to allow a public sector operator to bid for future franchises on a level playing field. We would devolve decisions over the running of regional and local rail services and ensure passengers have a greater say. Labour also has plans to tackle the monopoly market for rail rolling stock and we want to create a single ‘guiding mind’ for the railways (incorporating Network Rail and a new representative passenger rail body) to: contract routes; co-ordinate services; oversee stations fares and ticketing; and ensure customer satisfaction across the network.
In addition, Labour is committed to introducing a cap on annual rail fare increases on every route, a legal right to be sold the cheapest available ticket for a journey, and a simplified fare structure.
I hope this is helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact me again if I can be of further help with this or any other matter.
Labour MP for Bristol South"