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.


15th October - BBC Radio Wales

Today marks the start of the new rail franchise for Wales. Many improvements are promised, but what will it mean for the Welsh rail traveller? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the morning show to explain. Listen here or download here.

14th October - BBC radio and TV

Virgin Trains and Stagecoach have come in for much criticism after it emerged that they shared in £51.2m worth of dividends from the West Coast main line railway, shortly before walking away from another franchise.

BBC One evening news covers the story and includes comment from Railfuture's Roger Blake. Watch the YouTube clip here.

BBC News Channel interviews Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson on the subject. Listen to an audio recording of the interview here or download here.

His comments are then used in news bulletins on Radio 2, BBC 6 Music and on the BBC local radio network. Listen here or download here.

12th October - LBC

Mick Cash of the RMT union is reportedly paid more than the prime minister. Should we be concerned about this? Nick Ferrari talks to Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson on the breakfast show. Listen here or download here.

11th October - Yorkshire Post

Nina Smith, chair of Yorkshire branch, gets a letter published under the title "Wake-up call for action on climate change – and congestion". She writes:

"This week’s UN Climate Change report must be a wake-up call to governments, corporate bodies and individuals. What more can be done to tackle climate change? Transport policy is a key factor in stopping the ruination of our planet. It is critical that both Government policies, and those being developed by Transport for the North and local authorities, recognise this" before listing a whole series of policy changes that Railfuture would like to see.

11th October - BBC Radio Norfolk

Reclaiming lost property may cost you a hefty fee, and train operating companies have come under fire for taking money directly out of people's wallets and purses. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the breakfast show to comment. Listen here or download here.

10th October - BBC Radio Scotland

Scotrail is inheriting some Inter-City 125s from the Great Western main line. Will this be a good thing? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson offers his opinion. Listen here or download here.

His comments are later quoted on a BBC News online article.

He appears on the BBC evening news programme Reporting Scotland..

9th October - Forth 1

Scotrail has had to withdraw its new Hitachi trains because of an unspecified technical fault. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on daytime news bulletins to comment. Listen here or download here.

2nd October - Love Sport Radio

Chris Grayling has promised a "one click" solution to make delay repay easier. Kelvin MacKenzie talks to Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson to find out whether this is as good as it sounds. Listen here or download here.

28th September - Financial Times

The paper reports that many potential delay repay claimants are missing out. Could new apps help to increase the number? "Bruce Williamson, a spokesman for the independent passenger group Railfuture, said a confusing ticketing system was mirrored by a wide range of delay compensation rules used by different train operators." reads the article, before quoting him: “There needs to be a national standard. Why should it be different from line to line?”

21st September - BBC Radio Kent

A new report from the RAC suggests that the public is falling out of love with public transport. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson talks to Lembit Opik on the morning show to put the case for rail. Listen here or download here.

20th September - Daily Express

‘Chris Grayling is ultimately responsible for rail chaos,’ says commuter group. That's the headline, and that commuter group is Railfuture, as the paper writes an article largely based on an interview with Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson. He is quoted as saying, amongst other things:

“When it comes to the major disruption we saw in May and June, I agree with their (the ORR's) analysis - everybody had a part to play. Chris Grayling has tried to pass the buck here but the fact is he is at the top of the pyramid and if it isn’t his responsibility, what is the point of his job?”

20th September - BBC Three Counties Radio

The Office of Road and Rail has published its report into the Thameslink/Northern timetable fiasco. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto the breakfast show to offer his perspective. Listen here or download here.

Later the same day he appears on national digital station talkRADIO to cover the same topic. Listen here or download here.

18th September - Metro

"Worst train delays for 12 years" is the headline, as the paper reports on the release of punctuality figures. "Bruce Williamson, of passenger group Rail Future, said blame for the timetable problems had to go ‘right to the top’. He added: ‘There was no excuse for it. It was bad planning and blame has to go to Chris Grayling and the Department of Transport.’"

13th September - ITV Granada Reports

Northern will be improving the terms of its delay repay scheme so that compensation can be claimed if the train is 15 minutes late instead of 30. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the regional evening news programme to give this a cautious welcome.

4th September - Love Sport Radio

Labour has launched a national rail campaign, reiterating its commitment to renationalisation and releasing some figures on punctuality and overcrowding. Railfuture director Roger Blake is invited onto Kelvin Mackenzie's programme to discuss this and other rail issues. Listen here or download here.

1st September - talkRADIO

Another interview about the delays to Crossrail as Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed on the breakfast show. Listen here or download here.

31st August - LBC

The opening of the central section of Crossrail has been delayed by a year. This seems to be yet another example of the railways being badly managed, so is renationalisation the answer? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed alongside Conservative politician Keith Prince, who sits on the transport committee of the London Assembly. Listen here or download here.

31st August - Bromsgrove Standard

"West Midlands Railfuture boss joins calls for Cross Country services to stop in Bromsgrove" reads the headline, as the paper reports on Railfuture's submission to the Cross Country franchise consultation. Dr Stephen Wright from West Midlands branch is quoted:

“It’s excellent Bromsgrove now has a regular and frequent service to Birmingham stations, but the service southwards is woefully inadequate, just one train an hour to Worcester, Malvern and Hereford – and frequently heavily over-subscribed. Getting beyond to Cheltenham, Gloucester or Bristol needs a change at Worcester and with only one train every two hours. Newport and Cardiff are a little better, changing at Hereford, although there can be lengthy waits there for connections. What we want now are direct trains to the South West."

24th August - Modern Railways

The September edition of the magazine contains Roger Ford's Informed Sources column, as usual. He says "Perhaps another BR veteran, Ian Brown, writing in the Railfuture magazine has got it right. ‘It seems that everyone was so invested financially and reputationally in the May 2018 timetable, and all that it represented for stakeholders, that ‘group-think’ set in. With no-one daring to challenge the project other than to claim mitigation was possible to whatever new risk or problem emerged, the project team sleep-walked to disaster’."

Ian Brown's article can be read here.

22nd August - BBC Radio Gloucestershire

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears in the morning news bulletins, then is interviewed live on the breakfast show about fares, disruption and inflation. Listen here or download here.

18th August - BBC Radio 4

Steve Boulding of West Midlands branch phones in to Any Answers. Whilst choosing to speak in a personal capacity, he gives Railfuture a plug, and his comments about the fragmentation of the industry are consistent with those made by official Railfuture spokespeople. Listen here or download here.

18th August - BBC Radio Shropshire

Colin Major of Railfuture's West Midlands branch appears on the breakfast show to discuss how passengers will be affected by the closure of Euston station. Listen here or download here.

16th August - The Mirror

The paper picks up on our press release: "Pressure group Railfuture claimed passengers are treated like “second-class citizens compared to motorists”."

It goes on to quote Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson: “We’ll easily have the most expensive fares in Europe, yet the Government continues to freeze fuel duty for motorists. Why the double standard?”

The press release is also quoted in the Express, Evening Standard, Metro, the Aberdeen Evening Express and on Sky News, Yahoo! News and BT.com.

16th August - Western Mail

Railfuture Cymru's chairman John Rogers has a letter published in the light of inflation figures which will result in fare rises in the new year. Under the heading "Do rail fare rises just benefit shareholders?" he asks: "Is it the case, then, that the Tory (Westminster) Government is merely boosting shareholders’ dividends by these savage, annual fare rises?"

15th August - BBC Essex

Chris Burton from East Anglia branch appears on the drive time show on the eve of the announcement of July's inflation figures. What are the alternatives to using RPI?
Listen here or download here.

He later gave an interview on Cambridge Community Radio.

15th August - Bauer radio network

Rail fare rises feature on the breakfast news bulletins on the group's Scottish stations, including soundbites from Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson.

14th August - BBC South East Today

Railfuture director Roger Blake appears on the BBC South East Today evening news on 14th August 2018 to support Maria Caulfield MP's idea of forwarding complaints on to Southern and Network Rail. Watch it here on Youtube.

14th August - talkRADIO

Early risers hear Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson comment on prospective fare increases on the very early breakfast show. Listen here or download here.

14th August - The Herald

"Rail fares are increasing twice as fast as wages, new analysis shows" reads the headline, before going on to quote Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson: “For many people, the reality is that British rail transport is hideously expensive and set to get worse.”

13th August - BBC Radio Wales

Early estimates of July's inflation figures predict RPI at 3.5%, which will be the figure used for next January's fare increases. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the drive time show to argue that this is unfair to passengers. Listen here or download here.

10th August - BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

Tile Hill station has insufficient parking, and there are plans to double the capacity of the car park. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited on to the breakfast show to discuss. Listen here or download here.

1st August - Love Sport Radio

Robert Nisbet, director of the Rail Delivery Group, has claimed that UK trains are the envy of Europe. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson speaks to Kelvin MacKenzie about whether there is any truth in this idea. Listen here or download here.

31st July - Evening Standard

Responding to a recent article highlighting the levels of overcrowding on London commuter routes, Railfuture director Roger Blake has a letter published. He writes: "Continuing high levels of demand, despite recent dips on routes in some areas, must be met with continuing high levels of investment in trains and track. That is what is needed to beat unacceptable crowding and to improve overall quality."

30th July - BBC News Channel

Railfuture director Roger Blake appears on the BBC News Channel to talk about Northern Rail reinstating some of its previously abandoned timetable changes. Watch the clip on Youtube here.

29th July - Daily Mail

The Mail tries to put the blame on train drivers for some of the recent problems on the railways. Responding to suggestions by the Rail Delivery Group that there was no shortage of drivers, Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson said: "There is a shortage of drivers. Whatever the networks say, we know this is the case. We pay the highest rail fares in Europe and we certainly don't get the best service for that. If you are cutting human resources to the bone then that will have an impact."

The same story appears in the Sun and the Express.

27th July - BBC Radio Cornwall

GWR has come in for some criticism over the holiday period as passengers have to endure overcrowding and sweltering conditions. Railfuture's Nigel Bray, secretary of Severnside branch, is invited onto the breakfast show to offer his opinion. Listen here or download here.

24th July - talkRADIO and BBC locals

New passenger statistics list the top ten most overcrowded lines on Britain's railways. Railfuture director Roger Blake has a busy day being interviewed on six different radio stations about this issue:

20th July - talkRADIO

Things have got so bad on the railways that the government is considering a meeting of the emergency COBRA committee. Is this really necessary? Railfuture's Chris Fribbins is the man to ask. Listen here or download here.

16th July - BBC Radio Wales

GWR cancelled many services to South Wales on Sunday, citing reasons such as school holidays, hot weather and the World Cup. How do these excuses stand up to scrutiny? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited on to the breakfast show to discuss. Listen here or download here.

This story also appears on the BBC News website and Bruce is quoted: "It's understandable passengers get very upset when there's a poor service like this."

12th July - Cambridge Independent

Six weeks after the Govia Thameslink timetable meltdown story first hit the news, it's still making waves in Cambridgeshire. An interim timetable is being introduced from 15th July, and local MP Heidi Allen has written to Govia Thameslink Railway claiming that the situation is “reaching danger point”.

Railfuture is quoted twice in the article. Vice-chair of East Anglia Branch, Christopher Burton, is quoted: “In more than 45 years of personal railway interest I cannot recall timetable disruption on such a profound scale. British Rail sometimes generated slightly overambitious schedules on certain routes, or suffered from traction shortcomingssaid that in a stakeholder meeting on Tuesday evening Govia Thameslink confirmed that they have enough drivers with the right route knowledge to run the service from Monday July 16., but never the sheer disarray at Thameslink or indeed with Northern Rail where the position is at least as bad, but for slightly different reasons.”

Chairman Nick Dibben also has his say: “The problem previously was the ability to match drivers and trains at the start of the new timetable due to last minute changes made to the timetable by Network Rail,” he said. “Over the next few months, additional peak hour trains will be added when practical to do so. The weekend timetable is affected by planned engineering works so passengers urged to check each weekend. The December 2018 timetable change is being reviewed nationally as there are far more changes planned than intended in May 2018. GTR hope to add more of the off-peak trains intended for this May in December.”

9th July - BBC Radio Lincolnshire

The breakfast show is talking about reopening stations. Is this a good idea? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson thinks so. Listen here or download here.

8th July - BBC News website

New performance figures for Arriva Trains Wales show an increase in the number of complaints. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted "It's disappointing when customer service is not up to scratch. With some of the problems we've been experiencing on the railway the train operating companies can, with some legitimacy, pass the buck and say it's someone else's fault. But when it comes to basic customer service, like replying to complaints, that's totally within Arriva's hands and there's no excuse for that."

The quote is then picked up by the Wales Online website.

7th July - Uckfield News

The paper reports on the Uckfield Festival Big Day. Railfuture is a regular exhibitor, and there's a photo of Railfuture director Roger Blake manning the stall along with Dick Tyler from the Sussex and Coastway division.

2nd July - South Wales Echo

Newly installed overhead line equipment in the Severn tunnel has started rusting. Paul Harding of Railfuture Cymru / Wales is quoted:

“Passengers and taxpayers are not going to be happy that equipment installed less than two years ago is already rusting. Passengers have faced months of inconvenience with diversions and line closures due to the electrification programme and it looks as though there’ll be much more disruption before the benefits even begin to be felt. There are lessons for the whole rail industry here about planning, construction and procurement. Hopefully these lessons can be learnt before electrification of the core valleys lines begin.”

26th June - inews

"This is why UK trains can’t handle a heatwave" is the headline as the hot weather forces many trains to go slow. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted:

“Network Rail will periodically tweak the tension on the rails – you have a summer tension for hot weather and a winter tension for cold weather. When the temperatures rise, Network Rail cuts the rail and rewelds it to make sure it’s the correct tension for the temperature range expected – a heatwave takes it out of that zone. If Network Rail feels there’s a danger of the tracks buckling, it puts speed restrictions on trains to avoid the risk of derailment. The slower the train goes the less disruption there is to the track,”

24th June - BBC Radio Devon

Many GWR services were cancelled on the day England played in the world cup. Coincidence? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson talks about some of the causes of the problems. Listen here or download here.

24th June - talkRADIO

The first ever service of the new LNER arrived on time. Does the failure of Virgin/Stagecoach mean that renationalisation is the way forward? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the very early breakfast show to discuss. Listen here or download here.

11th June - Love Sport Radio

Another interview about the recent chaos on the railways. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson discusses some of the causes of the problems, and whether renationalisation might improve things. Listen here or download here.

11th June - talkRADIO

For the second time in the day, Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the station to talk about the chaos on the railway. He talks to James Whale and his sidekick Ash in a long and not entirely serious interview. Listen here or download here.

11th June - talkRADIO

Mike Graham and Katie Perrior interview Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson about the causes and solutions to the recent chaos on the railway. Listen here or download here.

11th June - The Guardian

Columnist John Harris argues for more devolution of railway management to help cure some of the industry's ills. He took some advice from Railfuture and writes: "I spent a lot of last week discussing potential solutions with people from pressure groups such as Railfuture (which wants “bigger, better railway that people are proud and pleased to use”) and the Campaign for Better Transport. I heard about the endless drawbacks of train franchising: the way that its bidding system emphasises squeezing costs and raising prices, and the fact that deals that tend to last for around eight years combine with the increasingly short cycles of politics to ensure that long-term thinking is always in short supply."

9th June - BBC News channel

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed about Mark Carne's CBE in the light of Network Rail's recent poor performance.

On the same day, he is quoted in The Times on the same subject: “It seems slightly at odds to be making an award for good service at a time when things are going so badly for the railway.”

7th June - Scotsman

"How commuting every day negatively affects your health and wellbeing" is the headline. The article says:

"Chris Hyomes, Director of Communications at Railfuture, a UK advocacy group that promotes better rail services for passengers and freight, explains that public transport needs to be made more attractive so that people want to use it. “More people are commuting today more than ever”, he says, adding that with this, commuters have the “stress of getting to work on time”. As a commuter himself, Mr Hyomes believes that rail travel at the moment is completely unacceptable: “We’re being forced out of public transport and with train fares going up every year, users are not getting value for money.”"

The same article also appears in many local papers.

7th June - Lincolnshire Reporter

Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh writes a regular column for the paper. He says:

"Regular readers of this site will have seen that I have been actively engaged with the various ideas and issues around local rail services.

The return of regular services to Gainsborough Central later this year is a good example of steps in the right direction. I am committed to pressing the case for direct rail links from the Humber south bank to London. This could include a stop at Market Rasen and I will be pressing my case with the Transport Secretary, now that the East Coast service is being brought back into public ownership and as progress is made to re-franchise the East Coast Main Line.

I have also been very interested in suggestions from the local branch of Railfuture about a rail-based part and ride scheme, centred on Lincoln. This could lead to the return of a station at Langworth or the addition of a station at Cherry Willingham."

5th June - Western Mail

Railfuture Cymru president John Rogers has a letter published. "I would like to congratulate our government on the new deal for Welsh railways" he writes, before outlining some of the improvements he would like to see, and arguing for greater devolution of rail,

4th June - BBC Local Radio

In addition to the timetable chaos on Northern and Govia Thameslink, the Rail Delivery Group is opening a consultation on rail ticket reform, but without changing the overall level of fares. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited on to the breakfast shows of several BBC local radio stations. You can hear him make the same comments in slightly different orders on:

2nd June - LoveSport Radio

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on this London station. You can guess what he's talking about. Listen here or download here.

1st June - BBC Two

Disruption caused by the introduction of new timetables is the story that just won't go away. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the Victoria Derbyshire programme and helps to explain what the problem is. View it on YouTube.

A clip from the programme is posted on the show's Twitter pageTweet of photo of Bruce Williamson on the BBc's Victoria Derbyshire programme describing timetable chaos as a .

31st May - BBC Sussex

A petition calling for Govia Thameslink Railway to have its contract immediately removed has received thousands of signatures, because of its ongoing problems with the new timetables. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the breakfast show to offer his perspective. Listen here or download here.

25th May - The Lincolnite

Edward Leigh MP is backing plans by Railfuture's Lincolnshire branch for a rail-based park and ride system. He said: “Railfuture Lincolnshire is right to be stirring up debate on the future of rail services in the county......I would certainly like to see proposals brought forward for a rail-based park and ride scheme, perhaps with a new station at Cherry Willingham or seeing if former infrastructure, like Langworth, could be brought back into use.”

24th May - talkRADIO

The new welsh rail franchise has been awarded to a consortium including SNCF. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto the early breakfast show to discuss this, along with privatisation, competition, Thameslink and more. Listen here or download here.

21st May - talkRADIO

New timetables have led to disruption on the railways, particularly Thameslink. Eamonn Holmes and Saira Khan discuss this with Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson. Listen here or download here.

21st May - Rochdale Online

"Four rail user groups have joined together in a grass-roots campaign to revive plans for railway electrification across the North of England.... Founding groups Halifax & District Rail Action Group (HADRAG), Oldham and Rochdale rail users group (STORM), Upper Calder Valley Sustainable Transport Group, and Bradford Rail Users Group are supported by Yorkshire and North West branches of Railfuture, the national independent campaign for a better rail network."

21st May - BBC Radio Nottingham

Timetable changes have affected East Midlands trains. Ariadne Tampion, chair of East Midlands branch, is interviewed on the drive time show to get Railfuture's perspective. Listen here or download here.

21st May - LoveSport Radio

This new London radio station - despite its name - covers current affairs stories in the evening. In the aftermath of "Meltdown Monday", where Thameslink's new timetable suffered teething troubles, Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson analyses what went wrong - or not. Listen here or download here.

16th May - East Coast franchise

There's a lot of interest in the announcement that Chris Grayling is taking the East Coast franchise back into public hands for the third time. What went wrong? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson gives three interviews attempting to answer that question and others.

He appears on the ITV Central East Midlands evening news.

He is interviewed on Clive Bull's programme on LBC Listen here or download here.

And he is also interviewed on the drive time programme on BBC Three Counties Radio Listen here or download here.

16th May - Norwich Evening News

County councillors are writing to transport secretary Chris Grayling, arguing for the retention of the direct rail service between Norwich and Liverpool. Railfuture East Anglia's Chris Burton is quoted:

“Our feeling is that the route should remain a direct link, but that the service needs dramatically speeding up. It is a vital service for Norwich - the city needs to be connected and this route also serves many other cities and universities. I do think it does need greater passenger space and locomotives with faster acceleration though.”

14th May - Rail Technology Magazine

Under the headline "Campaigners ask Grayling for dedicated rail reopenings fund", the magazine picks up on the joint Railfuture / Campaign for Better Transport press release. Railfuture’s Bruce Williamson is quoted: “We know that the few reopenings that have happened have been hugely successful, so we hope that this fund will help kick-start a new wave of rail revival. This money would fund the research needed to identify the most economically viable schemes, which will then give local authorities the confidence to invest further. It's about breaking the log jam that has held up so many reopening schemes over the years.”

10th May - Dorset Echo

The paper highlights the problems in getting the cheapest possible fare, accusing some train operating companies of over-charging passengers. "Railfuture, an independent organisation campaigning for better rail services, accused the government and train operators of hiding the split-ticketing system." reads the article, before quoting Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson: “Passengers shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to find these hidden savings, which can be considerable. It’s unfair that those in the know can obtain cheaper fares than other passengers who pay the full amount.”

9th May - The Star

There are "Growing calls to reopen Woodhead railway tunnels between Sheffield and Manchester". An organisation called Grand Northern Railways wants to reopen the main tunnel, creating a roll-on, roll-off railway service for cargo vehicles which would remove thousands of lorries from congested roads through the Peak District.

"The campaign group Railfuture has said reviving the route should be a 'strong contender' to help achieve the Northern Powerhouse goal of 30-minute rail journeys between Sheffield and Manchester." says the article.

8th May - talkRADIO

The Rail Delivery Group has promised to simplify the ridiculously complex tail fares structure in this country. Eamonn Holmes and Saira Khan discuss this with Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson and Jane Gratton from the British Chambers of Commerce. Listen here or download here.

1st May - talkRADIO

Network Rail's boss Mark Carne has suggested the possibility of 24 hour train services. How realistic is this? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson discusses it with Eamonn Holmes and Saira Khan on the drive time show. Listen here or download here.

27th April - The Herald

Railfuture Scotland secretary Jane Ann Liston writes an opinion piece for the paper arguing for better facilities for foot passengers at Ardrossan. Currently the station is 200 metres from the embarkation point, making it unattractive for rail passengers. She writes:

"The new Ardrossan terminal is a perfect opportunity to put this right, by bringing the railway line right down to the new passenger arrival point which after all will be mainly used by foot passengers rather than those in cars, sparing everybody a significant hike, including those not as mobile as they were, those pushing child buggies and of course the luggage-laden holidaymakers heading for Scotland’s holiday island."

4th April - LBC

A new report highlights the cost of rail travel in the UK, comparing it unfavourably with other European countries. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited on to Nick Ferrari's breakfast show for his view. Listen here or download here.

22nd March - Northamptonshire Telegraph

Rail campaigner Jim Wade has died at the age of 75. He was a campaigner for the reopening of Corby station and a long-standing Railfuture Member. Steve Jones, secretary of East Midlands branch, is quoted: “There is little doubt that the reopening of the line to Corby may have never have happened without Jim’s involvement, given his passion and dedication for campaigning for the new rail service. It is a fitting memorial to him.”

14th March - Northern Echo

A Railfuture campaigning meeting gets a plug: "The possibility of the mothballed Stillington and Leamside lines being re-instated for passenger use will be on the agenda at a public meeting of Railfuture North-East. The campaign group, which also wants a new station to be built in Ferryhill, County Durham, is pushing for faster and more frequent rail services throughout the region and new or improved trains."

9th March - BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

The West Midlands Combined Authority has agreed to invest nearly £40 million in improvements to Coventry station. What will this mean for the travelling public? Michael Tombs from West Midlands branch is interviewed on the breakfast show. Listen here or download here.

8th March - Fenland Citizen

"Half hourly trains for Wisbech and rural transport hub at Manea is aim of new pressure group" reads the headline. That group is the Wisbech Rail Consultative Group set up by Railfuture East Anglia. Branch chairman Peter Wakefield is extensively quoted in the article, saying, amongst other things “We want to see it deliverd within the next few years and we want it to link right through to the newly funded Cambride South station. Wisbech is vital to the whole county’s economic sustainability."

4th March - Harrogate Informer

Transport campaigner Brian Dunsby has been formally presented with his OBE for services to business and the community in Harrogate. He was a previous recipient of a Railfuture RUG award. The article says:

"Brian has also worked tirelessly as the Transport Spokesman for Harrogate Chamber to improve the rail connectivity to and from Harrogate and was recognised by Railfuture UK in 2015 as the Best Campaigner and for the Best Campaign."

3rd March - Southern Daily Echo

An event organised by the Wessex branch of Railfuture has been cancelled. South Western Railway's senior stakeholder manager Phil Dominey was due to speak about the new seven year franchise, but bad weather has led to train cancellations.

A spokesperson for Railfuture is quoted: "There are train problems meaning that some people can't make it so I don't know if they've done it for the punters or for the main man."

28th February - Daily Express

The Express picks up on yesterday's LBC interview with the headline "UK snow: Expert reveals REAL reason for UK travel chaos and it's NOT snow". It's snow.

27th February - LBC

Extreme cold weather is causing disruption across much of the rail network, and Nick Ferrari interviews Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson on the breakfast show. The interview features on a web page entitled "This Is Why Trains Are Cancelled Even Though There's No Snow". Listen here or download here.

26th February - BBC Radio Leicester

What are the chances of reopening the Leicester-Burton line for passenger traffic? Railfuture East Midlands spokeswoman Ariadne Tampion is interviewed on the drive time programme in advance of a local edition of Inside Out on which she also appears. Listen here or download here.

26th February - talkRADIO

Inadequate provision of replacement buses has caused major disruption on Southern's patch, with angry passengers missing flights. What's Railfuture's perspective? Spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto the morning programme. Listen here or download here.

Quotations from the interview are used as the basis of a news article on the talkRADIO website.

21st February - The Week In

The freesheet for East Bristol & North East Somerset picks up on our press release under the headline "Battle lines drawn in light rail debate".

Sustrans had argued that the Bristol and Bath railway path was the wrong choice for a future light rail scheme. "But Railfuture, a campaign group for better rail services across the UK, has hit back at Sustrans, claiming it is not just the “path of least resistance” but the obvious choice for that very reason" reads the article, before extensively quoting from our press release.

14th February - Transport Network

Under the headline "Sustainable transport campaigners fall out over cycle path", the website picks up on our press release.

"In an open letter to Mr Cleeton, Railfuture’s press officer, Bruce Williamson, said he was himself ‘disappointed that an organisation called Sustrans is trying to scupper new sustainable transport projects’."

A similar story appears a few days later on the TransportXtra web site.

9th February - BCfm

On the Bristol community station's politics show, presenter Billy Quain interviews Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson extensively about local transport issues. These include "Metrobus", the new bus rapid transit scheme, Mayor Marvin Rees's local rail proposals, including the possibility of re-using part of the former Midland railway (now a cycle track), and many more. Listen here or download here.

6th February - LBC

The East Coast franchise is about to collapse for the third time. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto the LBC daily debrief podcast to offer his explanation. Listen here or download here.

5th February - Moneynest

This money advice website publishes an article comparing the cost of rail travel with motoring. "Rail champion Railfuture rightly point out tickets should be based on CPI, not RPI and by not using CPI, rail fares have become 17% higher than they would under the CPI measure."

3rd February - Scotsman

Scottish Greens have struck a deal to secure funding of up to £2 million to develop new stations and lines. This may include the possibility of temporary "pop-up" stations to establish whether demand exists. Railfuture gets a mention, an unnamed spokesman is quoted:

“Although Scotland has seen many more reopenings than England in the last few years, getting any sort of new rail project off the ground is still frustratingly expensive and bureaucratic, so we welcome any moves to kick-start and ease this process. Network Rail has shown how it’s possible to open temporary stations at short notice, so it makes sense to try using pop-up stations to test demand. There are numerous examples in other industries of new products and services being test-driven, so why should the railways be any different?”

The same quote appears in the Alloa Advertiser on the 8th February.

29th January - Herald

"RAIL campaigners have condemned the practice of ‘stop-skipping’ across Scotland after it emerged operators are failing to pull into stations up to 20 times per day." reads the article. it continues: " Allison Cosgrove, chair of Railfuture Scotland, told the Herald: “Stop-skipping is really annoying to people – there is never any justification for it.

“If you get on a train, then you should expect to get off at the stop you want. And not being told (your stop is being skipped) before getting on is completely unhelpful.”

Mrs Cosgrove said that while stop-skipping remains an issue across the rail network, the frustration born from overcrowding is also prominent.

She added: “I sometimes feel there is too much of an emphasis on absolute punctuality. I don’t think passengers on some routes would mind if their train was a few minutes late. What they want is a seat.

“Overcrowding is an issue; we have some longer six-carriage trains on our line now, but on some occasions not everyone who is looking to get on the train at Musselburgh can get on.

“That said, it is not always helpful to complain all the time and I believe journey times where people have to stand in Scotland is less than in England. We also recently met with Alex Hynes (ScotRail’s new managing director) and he struck me as a chap determined to do better.” "

19th January - BBC Radio Devon

It's 25 years since railway privatisation, so how has it worked out? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto Janet Kipling's afternoon show to discuss the pros and cons. Listen here or download here.

9th January - BBC Radio Bristol

A cable theft in the Bristol area has caused widespread disruption to rail services. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto John Darvall's phone-in programme to give his perspective. Listen here or download here.

He appeared on the regional news programme Points West in the evening.

8th January - talkRADIO

Railfuture is invited to write an article for the talkRADIO website on the subject of rail fare increases, and spokesman Bruce Williamson takes up the offer. The headline reads 'Rail fare hikes are just discrimination, pure and simple', although he didn't write that bit.

7th January - talkRADIO

The rail fare rise still won't go away, and head of Railfuture's passenger group, Chris Fribbins, is invited onto Jake Yapp's show on talkRADIO. Listen here or download here.

3rd January - Connect FM

Rail fare rises are still in the news, and Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears in the news bulletins throughout the day. Listen here or download here.

3rd January - talkRADIO

With widespread dissatisfaction with rail fares, is renationalisation the answer? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson discusses the pros and cons with Julia Hartley-Brewer. Listen here or download here.

2nd January - Daily Telegraph

The front page headline is "End scandal of rip-off rail fares", and the article continues "The campaign group Railfuture has estimated that rail fares would be 17 per cent lower if they had been tied to the CPI measure of inflation since 2014." (We actually said since 2004).

In the same edition, Telegraph reader Paul Streeter-Jewitt from Bath has the following letter published: "SIR – Bruce Williamson from the campaign group Railfuture said “very soon, trains without Wi-fi will become unthinkable” (report December 27). The same report said that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport was looking to see “how it can 'dramatically' improve internet and phone connectivity on Britain's train network by 2025”. Now we know that “very soon” means seven years."

2nd January - BBC News and others

Rail fares rises prompt protests at stations around the country. Railfuture adds its voice to the chorus of condemnation: "Bruce Williamson, of campaign group Railfuture, has called for the lower Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation measure to be used for regulated fare increases. Mr Williamson argued that if CPI had been used rather than RPI since 2004, rail fares would be 17% lower. He said people were being priced out of getting to work, with British rail fares among "the most expensive in Europe"."

Similar stories appear in the Evening Standard, Sun, ITV, Mirror, AOL and many more.

Chris Burton, vice-chair of East Anglia branch, appears on Look East in the morning and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire in the afternoon. Listen here or download here.

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appeared on Sky News and BBC Radio Five Live
where he was joined by David Sidebottom from Transport Focus to talk to presenters Guy Kilty and Sam Walker. Listen here or download here.

1st January - LBC

On the eve of nationwide fare protests, Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto Clive Bull's phone-in programme to discuss fares, privatisation and rolling stock. Listen here or download here.

1st January - Daily Mail

The Mail contrasts executive pay in the rail industry with immenent fare rises. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: "Passengers might say these salaries paid to chief executives are unreasonably large. There's a real problem when bonuses appear regardless of whether the company has performed well or not."

1st January - Daily Mail

Passengers are travelling in carriages which were typically built in the mid-1990s, with the average age being 21.1 years, the highest since records began. Bruce Williamson, spokesman for pressure group Railfuture, said this highlights “an uneven feast or famine in the railways when it comes to investing”. He added: “We’ve still got a lot of catching up to do.”

The same story appears in the Independent and BT online

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.

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