Railfuture in the news

Railfuture is frequently quoted by the media in newspapers, transport magazines, online and on radio and television.

Below are some recent examples of Railfuture being reported. If you know of any we've missed, then email media at railfuture.org.uk with details.


23rd May - The Voice

The radio station for North Devon interviews Tim Steer from Bideford Heritage Railway Centre about expansion plans, including the help he has received from Railfuture. Listen here or download here.

16th May - BBC News website

The government is considering alternatives to the HS2 eastern leg, including a link to the ECML via Nottingham and Newark. Lincolnshire branch chair David Harby is quoted as saying that the Newark option would give the government almost everything it wanted.

"It would also be the cheapest option but there would be compromises - of course, it wouldn't serve Sheffield," he said.

11th May - BBC Radio Leeds

The queen's speech includes a new transport bill to establish Great British Railways. What will this mean for passengers? Yorkshire branch chair Nina Smith is interviewed on the breakfast show. Listen here or download here.

29th April - My London

Forget more London Underground stations, what South London really needs is Thameslink 2 linking Croydon, Lewisham, Canary Wharf and Stratford headlines the author, with the comment It's not just me who sees sense. Railfuture, the UK's largest independent campaign group for improving rail services, has put this proposal at the top of its campaigns in London and the South East.

27th April - Huddersfield Examiner

The headline is: Four major changes needed to transform Yorkshire's 'desperate' railways, according to an expert - that expert being Yorkshire Branch vice-chair and national Director Mike Rose, who sets out Railfuture's priorities for improving rail transport in Yorkshire.

27th April - The Planner

Infrastructure & Networks Director Roger Blake has an article in the house magazine of the Royal Town Planning Institute for May, citing five examples of Railfuture getting on with supporting the delivery of #RailTransportForNewHomes.

27th April - Devon Live

Reopening of Bideford to Barnstaple railway 'transformational for North Devon - Infrastructure & Networks Director Roger Blake is among a group at the Bideford Railway Heritage Centre to brief Devon County Council's Andrea Davis, also Chair of Peninsula Transport, about the ACE Rail campaign to reconnect Bideford to the mainline rail network at Barnstaple for through services to Exeter.

19th April - The Great British Rail Sale

The government has announced a sale of one million half price off-peak tickets. Railfuture is in demand for comment, and national spokesman Bruce WIlliamson is interviewed on talkRADIO, Yorkshire branch chair Nina Smith appears on BBC Radio York, East Anglia branch vice-chair Chris Burton appears on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and Dave Richardson of Thames Valley branch is interviewed on BBC Radio Berkshire.

18th April - Daily Record

The paper reports that Network Rail is paying compensation to train operating companies for engineering works, but that passengers are not entitled to any compensation. Railfuture spokesman Bruce WIlliamson is quoted: “Passengers whose journeys are lengthened by engineering works would naturally think that some of the money should go to them.”

11th April - Dunfermline Press

"Influential think tank Railfuture Scotland" is the subject of this article, which highlights Railfuture's plans for new stations in Scotland. Spokesperson Jane Ann Liston is quoted: "These stations are considered necessary to provide an attractive and environmentally-friendly alternative to road vehicles. Each of the locations has some specific feature as to why it needs a station, such as an attraction which brings in many people, a major employer, or simply a large number of residents who need to travel. These stations would open up more of the country to non-road travel. "

1st April - BBC Radio Scotland

Scotrail is now back in the public sector. Railfuture Scotland's Jane Ann Liston appears on Good Morning Scotland alongside rail journalist Philip Haigh to discuss what changes passengers will notice. Listen here or download here.

30th March - BBC Radio Bristol

The Belmond British Pullman visited Bath Spa station, and Railfuture goes a little bit rail past, as spokesman Bruce Williamson talks about the Orient Express, heritage railways and sleeper trains. Listen here or download here.

27th March - The Herald

"Influential think tank Railfuture Scotland has mapped out the list of 51 stations to be opened or re-opened" says the paper, reporting on Railfuture proposals first published eight years ago, but putting a contemporary spin by adding "...in a bid to attract the public back on trains.as Covid restrictions are lifted".

26th March - BBC Radio York

Yorkshire branch chair Nina Smith appears on the drive time show to talk about cuts to Northern services. Listen here or download here.

1st March - More fare rise coverage

Railfuture spokesman Bruce WIlliamson is interviewed on BBC Radio Suffolk and is quoted on the BBC news website. Many papers and websites quote our tweet "Ordinary working people are feeling the squeeze like never before, yet the government is stoking the fire of the cost of living crisis with these eye-watering fare increases".

Railfuture is also quoted in the Mirror, Express and on the Yahoo! news website, as well as appearing on BBC One's lunchtime news for the South East:

28th February - Fare rises

Many media outlets including The Guardian, Daily Mail, Metro and Sky News pick up on our press release, with hundreds of newspapers publishing an article under the headline "Train passengers to be hit with largest spike in fares since 2013". The Salisbury Journal is typical, picking up our soundbite of "stoking the fire of the cost of living crisis" and further quoting Railfutrue spokesman Bruce Williamson:

"Ordinary working people are feeling the squeeze like never before, yet the Government is stoking the fire of the cost of living crisis with these eye-watering fare increases. How does this help get the country back to work?"

Railfuture also gets a mention in the independent and the London Evening Standard.

27th February - Mail on Sunday

The paper reports on a package of engineering works over the Easter holiday. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: ‘More people will return to the railways after Covid and it is inevitable some will be inconvenienced by works. A significant package of Easter works is scheduled.’

24th February - Tarka Rail Association

Destination Bideford is a 3-page feature in Tarka Rail Association's Spring 2022 magazine, with positive references to Railfuture and its Director for Infrastructure & Networks Roger Blake.

23rd February - Bridport & Lyme Regis News

Under the headline "Railfuture sceptical over South Western Railway rankings", the paper reports on Wessex branch's doubts over a recent passenger satisfaction survey which gave South Western Railway an overall satisfaction of 88%.

A spokesperson for Railfuture Wessex is quoted: “Passenger numbers have been well below normal during the winter months, and we question whether the satisfaction survey gives a true picture when so many have been put off travelling. It will be interesting to see how the railway copes during the busier summer period, when a lot more people will be making the choice to go by rail, and expectations of comfort and reliability will be somewhat higher. We fear that some may experience longer journey times and perhaps overcrowding unless the service is restored to something nearer pre-Covid levels.”

11th February - Ipswich Star

Railfuture is calling for more emphasis to be given to links between Ipswich, Norwich, Colchester, Cambridge and Peterborough, rather than just on lines to London. East Anglia branch vice chair Peter Wakefield is quoted:

"London will still be an important destination but Railfuture thinks it is time for railway planners to initiate a gradual shift from being totally London orientated to more 'big five. All these urban centres have their own severe traffic problems with radial roads congested, producing poor and often dangerous public health outcomes."

This story also appears in the East Anglian Daily Times.

8th February - Witney Oxford Transport Group

WOTG Chair goes online to thank everyone including Railfuture's Infrastructure & Networks Director Roger Blake for making possible Oxfordshire County Council's Budget decision to allocate £250k for Undertaking a strategic rail feasibility study to establish what it would take to advance the proposals for new rail links to Cowley, Grove/Wantage, and Witney/Carterton, and the installation of double track on single track stretches of the North Cotswold Line.

5th February - Liverpool Echo

The paper aims to investigate why British trains are so expensive and what can be done about it. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is extensively quoted, saying, amongst other things: "You can have these cheap bargains, but for many people, they're just not practical or attractive. What we all want to do is get on the train when we want to get on the train and not have to plan weeks in advance and just, you know, buy a ticket, get a seat and not get ripped off for it."

1st February - talkRADIO

After Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted in The Sun on 31st January, he's interviewed on talkRADIO about signallers apparently asleep on the job. Perhaps taking forty winks isn't such a bad thing? Listen here or download here.

1st February - BBC Radio Surrey

With passenger numbers still well below pre-pandemic levels, what does the industry have to do to make rail travel an attractive proposition? Railfuture director Stewart Palmer is interviewed on the breakfast show. Listen here or download here.

31st January - The Sun

Signalling workers at London Victoria have been photographed asleep on duty in the middle of the night. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “This is very serious and a real concern. It’s a very important job. These staff are there to make sure everything goes smoothly and that if the ­technology is not working, then there is a back-up.”

27th January - inews

In an article entitled "Greggs bacon rolls and mindfulness apps offered to train commuters in a bid to lure them back onto the railway", Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted:

“Any sweetener, I suppose, is nice but what we really need to address are the fundamentals which are the soaring cost of tickets and the quality of the service. If they want to attract commuters back to the railways we need reliable service for people to use. What is important is the quality of the product not the wrapping.”

27th January - Modern Railways

Railfuture director Roger Blake has a joint letter Back the Bideford bid in the February issue, co-signed with Cllr Tim Steer (Director of Bideford Railway Heritage Centre) leading the ACE Rail campaign, and Kevin Ball (OkeRail Executive).

23rd January - BBC One South

Railfuture director Stewart Palmer appears on the Politics South TV programme to criticise South Western Railway's level of service.

21st January - inews

The i contrasts the return to work with worsening rail services and imminent fare rises. Grant Shapps has promised to reduce the amount of annoying Tannoy announcements.

"RailFuture, an independent passenger group, poured scorn on to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’ announcement to do away with repetitive Tannoy announcements on trains – calling it “scraping the barrel in trying to find some good news”."......

"RailWatch (Railfuture) spokesman Bruce Williamson said that if the Government wants to entice hybrid workers and people who have started relying on their cars during the pandemic back onto the trains, it is “really important” that firms offer an “attractive service”.

Mr Williams (Williamson) described the discounts offered by the newly introduced “flexi season tickets”, which give users eight days of travel within a 28-day period, as “parsimonious”, and said such schemes should be “a lot more generous”."

19th January - Hampshire Chronicle

The paper writes an article based on our press release. The article reads " A MAJOR rail operator has been slammed for reaching a "new low point" after introducing a reduced timetable. South Western Railway is now running fewer trains in Hampshire. It claims that its workforce has been slashed by Covid, with staff either testing positive or having to self isolate. But Railfuture, a national not-for-profit company campaigning for a bigger and better railway in Britain, called the decision a new low point ", before quoting Railfuture director Stewart Palmer.

A similar story appears in the Bournemouth Echo.

2nd January - LBC

Covid is causing staff shortages in many industries, including the railways. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed on Sky News, and a clip of that interview then appears in LBC's news bulletins. Listen here or download here.

Click HERE for previous examples of Railfuture in the media.

Media - For more information please contact:
Bruce Williamson, media spokesman
Tel: 0117 927 2954
Mobile: 07759 557389
Email: media at railfuture.org.uk

Apply to join Railfuture now - click HERE.