Maybe it's just me, but I believe that around six months prior to a franchise ending on a particular route, those using the route should be formally invited to give feedback about the operator and the service by means of a form distributed among passengers on the operator's trains. As things are, it seems to me that those actually using an operator's services have no say whatsoever in whether that operator is given an extension or the procedure progresses to inviting other operators to bid for the franchise. The form should have the usual questionnaire on one side with the other side providing definitions of which issues are within the operator's control and which are not. Cancellation/delay due to shortage of crew or lack of rolling stock - within the operator's control. Cancellation/delay due to fatality/derailment/lines down further along the route - outside the operator's control. Contrary to popular belief, an operator does not "arrange" a signal failure simply to wind up passengers. A signal failure is a Network Rail issue outside the control of the train operator.