Urban Transport Group comments on draft Rail Reform Bill

Train entering a station

The Urban Transport Group has commented on the Government’s draft Rail Reform Bill, its plan for the future of the railways, which it has published for pre-legislative scrutiny.

Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director of Transport North East and Urban Transport Group’s lead Board member for rail, said:

“We support the ambition to simplify the management of the rail network and allow for longer-term and integrated planning.

“However, it is crucial that any new structure reflects the original intention of the Williams’ Review to give greater control for local people and places. The current framework for rail reform remains highly centralised with no clear routes for communities, and those representing them, to influence the management and future of services, stations and infrastructure.

“City region transport authorities already play an important part in the railway and ensuring it joins up with wider local transport networks. They need a clear and statutory role which fully utilises their expertise and ensures rail forms part of integrated sustainable transport offer for passengers.”