The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) has the discretion ‘to award franchises to train operating companies (TOCs) and to monitor their performance’ under the Railways Act 1993 and Transport Act 2000. As a result a new franchising context, respecting three franchises that are about to expire, is undertaken by the SRA. This lead to the creation of an advisory committee which aim is to help assess the bids. “In all three cases, the SRA follows the advice of the committee and awards the franchise to the recommended bidder.” The general rule delegatus non potest delegare explicitly state that since the agent himself is a delegate, he cannot redelegate the authority delegated to him. One of the leading cases, comforting the rule of delegatus non potest delegare, is Barnard v National Dock Labour Board, where The Port Manager suspended workers using powers delegated to him by to London Board, delegated to them by The Board under the Dock Workers (Regulation of Employment) Order 1947. Indeed, it was held that the second delegation was ultra vires and the manager's decision was therefore a nullity. In our case, the SRA took the decision without apparent delegation. However, by the committee’s comments and not considering it themselves, they feterred their discretion, which is unlawful as held in Lavender v Minister for Housing. Actually, the minister of housing and local government refused planning permission for the extraction of gravel on grounds that agricultural land should not be used for this purpose. They did so without the ministers of agricultural approval. The decision was quashed because their discretion has been fettered. Based on this argument and precedent, by following the committee’s decision, SRA could be challenged.
In order to improve the performance of TOCs, the SRA has adopted a policy of fining any company that misses it target punctuality levels by at least...