The Rail Delivery Group has submitted proposals to the Williams Rail Review.
Announced by the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, the review will ultimately recommend the most appropriate organisational and commercial frameworks that will provide the greatest support for the delivery of the government’s railway vision.
Several stakeholders have already submitted their proposals about what they want to see from the Review, with the Railway Industry Association and rail freight industry both having their say.
Now, the Rail Delivery Group has proposed a “radical alternative” to the current system.
The proposals are informed by conversations with rail passengers, communities and businesses throughout the country.
As part of the submission, the Rail Delivery Group has proposed a new, independent organising body to be put in charge of the industry, to act “as the glue that binds it together so that everyone is working to meet the same customer-centric goals.”
It would replace the current one size fits all franchise system, with different types of services designed to suit the needs of businesses and passengers.
On long distance routes, it would see multiple operators compete for passengers’ business, making them more responsive to their needs; it would mean demand shapes the market.
Easier to use and better value fares will underpin the system, with pay-as-you-go complete with a price cap introduced to provide flexible workers a better deal.
Paul Plummer is the Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group. He described the proposals as a “once-in-a-generation system upgrade.”
He said: “These proposals call time on short term fixes and set out the once-in-a-generation system upgrade the railway needs if it is to help the country prosper over the next 25 years.
“We want to move forward with a rail system that is more focused on customers, more responsive to local communities and more accountable.”
Rail companies will consult with business groups throughout the summer to maximise the benefits of the proposals.