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Great British Railways Transition Team take first steps towards transforming the railways
The transition team responsible for creating Great British Railways – the new public body that will run and plan the rail network – took its first steps towards providing clear, long-term plans for transforming the railways shortly before Christmas with the launch of an eight-week call for evidence to support a 30-year, Whole Industry Strategic Plan and a better, simpler railway.
Announced in October by the Secretary of State for Transport to pave the way for the transition to the future of rail, the Great British Railways Transition Team (GBRTT) is asking stakeholders to provide their views on how rail can contribute to five strategic objectives set by government.
Backed by the private sector, the call for evidence on the Strategic Plan will ask how the rail industry can play a part in boosting Britain’s economy, providing access to new jobs and opportunities and making the railways a keystone in the UK’s plans to build back better and greener.
FIVE OBJECTIVES TO CREATE A BETTER, SIMPLER RAILWAY
By setting out those five objectives – meeting customers’ needs, delivering financial sustainability, contributing to long-term economic growth, levelling up and connectivity and delivering environmental sustainability – the call for evidence will help to play an instrumental role in setting the rail system map for the future and helping create a simpler, better railway for everyone in Britain.
“The Whole Industry Strategic Plan will help determine the future of the railway and we want it to be informed by as many different perspectives as possible, to learn from the lessons of the past and to meet the challenges of the future,” said Andrew Haines, Leader of the Great British Railways Transition Team, “We hope a wide range of organisations and experts, both inside and outside the rail industry, will respond to our call for evidence, to help us all make the most out of this opportunity to create a railway that truly delivers for all that use, service and depend on it. Together, we will create a simpler, better railway for everyone in Britain.”
ENSURING RAIL KEEPS UP WITH MODERN LIFE
“From dealing with the challenges of coronavirus to decarbonising the sector – the rail landscape as we know it, is changing and we need to ensure our railways are able to keep up with the demands of modern life,” said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps MP.
“I have tasked Great British Railways Transition Team to work with industry partners and beyond to create a 30-year plan that will ensure the railway develops to support our national priorities, whilst building on the reforms of the Williams-Shapps reform offering passengers a better deal and taxpayers better value for money.”
Experts from across the rail and transport industry and beyond have been invited to submit evidence to ensure this first-of-its-kind strategy will receive contributions from a wide range of stakeholders.
Alexandra Herdman, Public Policy Manager, Logistics UK, said: “Following the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant decline in the number of passenger rail journeys taken in Great Britain. At Logistics UK we see this as an opportunity to shift more freight onto rail and take HGVs off our roads.
“This call for evidence from the Great British Railways Transition Team represents a golden opportunity to help shape the railways for the coming decades. We will be making a detailed submission to this call for evidence and urge all our members interested in moving freight by rail to use this opportunity to make their voices heard.”
The call for evidence is now open here and will run until 4 February 2022.
Published On: 06/01/2022 16:00:30