Press release 27th February 2019


Franchising cannot continue – so how to fix the railway?

Rail Review Chair Keith Williams says that the rail franchising system cannot continue in the way it is now. “We agree that the system is broken” said Bruce Wiliamson from the campaign group Railfuture. “The big question is how to fix it. I don’t think that there’s a magic bullet here, but a combination of changes could make a difference to how the railways are run.”

Railfuture has produced its own detailed response to the Williams Review.

“It’s important to recognise that one size doesn't fit all in the rail industry, and we need a set of different models that work for different rail environments. The industry hasn’t been agile enough to deliver on its promises so far, and it needs to rise to the challenge of meeting growth and improving passenger service. This may require a much greater level of devolution to regional bodies with franchises being developed into concessions. This would allow rail transport to be better integrated into economic development plans.”

“We also want to see increased accountability for franchise holders. The key is to make the incentives for train operators and Network Rail work in favour of improving services for the passenger. The industry needs to rebuild trust with passengers and we’ve set out how to do it. Our Rail Challenge 2019 lists our 10 key customer demands, which would help turn the industry around.”

Railfuture’s Rail Challenge 2019 can be found at: https://www.railfuture.org.uk/article1815-Rail-Challenge-2019

Railfuture’s response to the Williams Review.can be found at https://www.railfuture.org.uk/article1820-Williams-Rail-Review and the response document itself at https://www.railfuture.org.uk/display1977

Notes to editors:

Railfuture is the UK's leading independent organisation campaigning for better rail services for both passengers and freight.

Follow Railfuture on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Railfuture

For further information and comment please contact:

Bruce Williamson, media spokesman
Tel: 0117 927 2954 Mobile: 07759 557389
media at railfuture.org.uk