AT A GLANCE: RAIL REFORM

● Timings
Transport secretary Justine Greening has put out a consultation paper in response to Sir Roy McNulty’s report into the sector last year. She hopes to see £3.5bn cut from the annual budget by 2019.

● Peak fares could rise
Though the government wants to end inflation-busting fares, plans to ease congestion could include hiking prices during rush hour to encourage off-peak travel.

● Oyster-style tickets nationwide
The coalition set aside £45m last year to expand smart ticketing in the south east, and is now looking at a national scheme.

● Devolved decisions
Savings can be made by forcing Network Rail and the train operating companies to work more closely together and take more responsibilities, the government reckons. In a separate announcement, Network Rail said that former Ford boss Richard Parry-Jones will be its new chairman as it shakes up its corporate governance.

● Franchises
Fourteen franchises including the West Coast Main Line are up for renewal between now and 2016, and the government plans to pressure bidders to spell out how they could cut costs. In return, they will have more freedom to alter services.