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Rail Partners responds to NAO rail reform report

08 March 2024

Andy Bagnall, chief executive of Rail Partners, responding to the National Audit Office report on rail reform:

‘It has been five years since the government correctly identified the need for ‘root and branch’ reform of the railway, and while the draft Rail Reform Bill is a step forward, without actual legislation to create Great British Railways, the Plan for Rail and the benefits it brings are still stuck in the sidings.

‘The NAO report published today shines a light on the consequences of that delay for customers, taxpayers and the industry itself. Urgent action is needed to secure the railway’s vital role in driving investment and growth, connecting communities, and decarbonising the economy. Key to this is a guiding mind which harnesses private-sector train companies to attract customers back to the railway, helping to balance the books and reduce taxpayer subsidy.’

Notes to editors
  • Rail Partners’ Manifesto for Rail is a five point plan for politicians to create a thriving railway for Britain. It is underpinned by research in the Rail Partners report, Track to Growth: Creating a dynamic railway for passengers and the economy, which includes economic analysis of Britain’s railways under franchising, and a comparative study of rail competition across Europe. Find both here: https://railpartners.co.uk/our-work/publications 
About Rail Partners

Rail Partners exists to make the railway better by harnessing the expertise and creativity of private sector operators for the benefit of those who use the railway, passengers and freight customers, and those who pay for it, including taxpayers. 

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