Open Access (OA) operators have generally had a good press. However the downsides of the concept have received less attention. It is time to redress the balance and to have an objective debate about all the issues - which go far wider than the satisfaction of travellers on particular routes. Specifically, the East Coast Main Line timetable cannot be planned sensibly until the scale of OA operations has been resolved. PTN has tried to initiate debate with two pieces:
(1) Christian Wolmar reviewed PTN's ECML report [see the 13 June entry under 'Reports'] in Rail magazine [issue 751]. This was challenged by the Managing Director of Alliance Rail  and PTN replied .
(2) Following a less-than-balanced presentation of the case for Open Access at a conference at Huddersfield University on 11 July PTN prepared an article for the Viewpoint slot in Local Transport Today [issue 652].
Read the debate : Open Access debate.pdf