Williams Rail Review

26 February 2019

At 7pm tonight, Keith Williams, chair of the rail review ordered by Chris Grayling, will say: I have heard a great deal about the franchising model….driving growth in passengers and benefits to services. But with this growth the needs of passengers have changed whilst many of the basic elements of our rail system have not kept pace. Put bluntly, franchising cannot continue the way it is today. It is no longer delivering clear benefits for either taxpayers and farepayers. I believe that for the railway to be successful it needs to put passengers at its heart. We need to recognise that there is unlikely to be a one size fits all solution which will work for every part of the country and all types of passenger.’

 

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, said: ‘We all know the problem. And the solution. The franchise system, brought in by John Major 25 years ago, in a move which even that arch privateer Margaret Thatcher described as “a privatisation too far”, isn’t just flawed, it has failed. Utterly. The reality, which everyone in our industry knows, is that the franchise system is broken beyond repair. It doesn’t work for passengers, it doesn’t work for taxpayers, and it doesn’t work for the men and women who, every day, deliver what should be a public service, not a chance for a few to make a private profit at public expense.’

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