OPRAFOffice of Passenger Rail Franchising (UK)
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Further changes were made to the regulatory regime with the Transport Act 2000 which led to the formation of the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) at the beginning of 2001, replacing the OPRAF and the remnants of the British Railways Board.
"OPRAF did what it could to improve passenger rail services within the powers available to it," said NAO head and Comptroller and Auditor General Sir John Bourn.
OPRAF's report said: "ScotRail provides a very high quality service."
Watchdog group, the Central Rail Users Consultative Committee, was particularly upset that some companies whose performance on some routes had deteriorated still got performance incentive payments from Opraf.
OPRAF (1996), Passenger Rail Industry Overview, June, Office of Passenger Rail Franchising.
At a special meeting in the town Sir Hector Monro, the Dumfries MP, local councillors and townspeople called on OPRAF to re think the plans.
But OPRAF chiefs stress the investment is dependent on the deal going through.
Across Britain, OPRAF said punctuality and reliability figures for the 25 train companies in 1997 were poorer in than 1996, when British Rail ran the services.
And Deputy PM John Prescott is looking at giving OPRAF more power to fine rail firms.
He will discuss Railtrack's investment scheme, the implications of the new Shadow Strategic Rail Authority - which will take over the powers of the passenger and train regulatory body Opraf in April - and increasing penalties for fare-dodging.
A pounds 1 million fine would be the biggest ever imposed by industry regulator Opraf. But shadow transport secretary Andrew Smith is furious.
The proposals have yet to be approved by the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising (OPRAF) which is due to report back in March.