Williams-Shapps Review

A new body called Great British Railways (GBR) will take over the operation and planning of Britain’s rail infrastructure, and set and collect most fares and determine timetables. The announcement was made on 19 May and is the outcome of the long-running Williams-Shapps review into the railway. The Government says the move re-emphasises its commitment to growing the rail network, with ‘tens of billions of pounds’ invested in more electrification and new and reopened railways.

 

Under the Williams-Shapps review, passenger franchises will be replaced by Transport for London-style concessions known as Passenger Service Contracts, which are expected to include incentives for operators to increase passenger numbers. However, while many are expected to be tightly specified, some operators – on long-distance routes, for example – will be given greater flexibility to change fares. The government says that ‘affordable’ walk-on and season ticket prices will be protected.

New National Rail Contracts will be announced this year: they will be in operation for two years and act as a ‘bridge’ to reform. Although there is no specific timescale for the full restructuring to take place, effectively, Network Rail takes over GBR meaning that no legislation will be needed in the short term.

There will be national co-ordination for freight, which is expected to offer greater flexibility and responsiveness, while delivery of enhancements and reopenings is also expected to be speeded up.

DfT outlines future role for operators

ROGER FORD

■ First PSC tendered next year – let in 2024
■ Includes responsibility for train procurement

ROGER FORD

ROLLING STOCK: WILLIAMS-SHAPPS PLAN CREATES VACUUM

ROGER FORD

Roger Ford analyses the rolling stock implications of the White Paper

ROGER FORD

Alan Williams gives his view on the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail

The Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail presented to Parliament begins...

Chris Stokes on the Williams-Shapps Plan

Chris Stokes

Is the White Paper good news for rail?

Chris Stokes

RAILTALK: RAIL REFORM: FOR BETTER OR WORSE?

In a guest editorial, GRAHAM CROSS, Managing Director...

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YES! YES! YES!

 Ian Walmsley

Williams-Shapps is a Great British Railway report. Someone was listening after all

 Ian Walmsley

Williams-Shapps Plan - who will run the railway?

 Roger Ford

■ Operational responsibility of PSCs unclear n Managerial expertise downplayed
■ Dynamics of railway operation ignored
■ Fragmentation encouraged

 Roger Ford