Devolution of responsibilities for regional rail works because local decision makers are closer to the ground in ensuring that local rail services mesh with wider local and regional plans for transport and economic development. As a result where responsibilities for rail have already been devolved we have seen higher customer satisfaction, more investment and rapid patronage growth. Further rail devolution is now on its way which should bring the benefits already realised on ScotRail, Merseyrail Electrics and London Overground to the rail networks of the North and the West Midlands.
This report sets out the success of regional rail over the past decade and a half despite limited investment when compared to other rail sectors. The report then goes on to develop two hypothetical scenarios to demonstrate how investment in regional rail could deliver even greater benefits, significantly reducing subsidy and growing the benefits delivered to our city region economies.