The Government plans to introduce a Draft Rail Reform Bill in the new Parliament, but it is unlikely primary legislation needed to provide Great British Railways with its full powers will pass before the next General Election. The announcement was made in the King’s Speech on 7 November.
The Draft Rail Reform Bill is said to enable parliamentarians to review and test legislation, which it is claimed will allow for a swifter passage through Parliament when legislation is finally brought forward.
Under the Bill, franchising powers currently held by the Transport Secretary would be transferred to GBR, which will provide a single point of accountability for the performance of the railway. Fares and ticketing will be simplified, with GBR’s regional structure intended to ensure differing needs around the country are considered.