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Rail Partners responds to Secretary of State for Transport's speech on Rail Reform

07 February 2023

Responding to the Secretary of State’s announcements on Rail Reform at the George Bradshaw Address, Andy Bagnall, Chief Executive of Rail Partners said:

“The Secretary of State’s speech is a needed push to reinvigorate rail reform, which is essential for passengers and freight customers as well as for the taxpayer and the wider economy.”

On proposals for fares reform

“Radical change to the fares system is an idea whose time has come. Industry has been pushing for reform for many years so that rail fares reflect the changing ways people are travelling, accelerated by the pandemic.”

On proposals for a slimmed down GBR

“The proposals for a streamlined Great British Railways are a welcome step in the right direction. A new framework can create greater coherence and accountability across the network, while also giving train companies the freedom to use their commercial expertise to respond to customer needs.”

On rail freight target

“The renewed commitment to a freight growth target is welcome. We are calling for freight to be trebled by 2050, with interim targets, to ensure that rail freight can play its part in supporting wider economic and environmental ambitions.”

On next steps

“We now need a clear timetable for legislation as well as pushing ahead with those reforms that don’t need to wait for parliamentary time, such as establishing an ambitious freight growth target or the contractual reforms that will free up operators to accelerate recovery.”

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. 

Rail Partners provides advocacy and policy solutions for its private sector passenger owning Group and freight company members. Rail Partners additionally provides technical services to train operating companies in both the public and private sectors. 

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