ATOC announces its new lobbyist

The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) has handed its lobbying contract to Westminster Strategy.

The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) has handed its

lobbying contract to Westminster Strategy.



Fees and the length of the retainer deal are still being discussed, but

it is believed that the budget could be worth around pounds 50,000 a

year. Westminster Strategy’s brief also includes press work.



Westminster Strategy won a three-way pitch against GJW and the recently

formed Newbridge Partnership, which specialises in the privatised

railway industry and is majority owned by Westminster

Communications.



Both Westminster Strategy and Westminster Communications have done

project work for ATOC in the past.



The main task for Westminster Strategy is to raise the profile of the

association, but at the same time smooth Labour’s approach to the

privatised rail network.



Labour’s manifesto pledged to establish a national railway authority to

oversee the running of the individual rail franchises.



Although Labour has said that it will honour existing franchises, it

could still decide that ATOC’s statutory responsibilities - which

include awarding the contract to deliver telephone train enquiries,

co-ordinating the provision of family and disabled railcards, and acting

in consumer and franchisee disputes - would be better managed by another

body.



’We are looking for a constructive dialogue with Labour,’ said

Westminster Strategy associate director Jon McLeod - who is working on

the account alongside director Mike Lee.



McLeod maintained there was no need to take away any of ATOC’s

responsibilities, but he admitted the organisation - which represents 25

train operators - needed to do more to secure its place as a voice for

the rail industry.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in