20 September 2018
Responding to the announcement by the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, of a review into the running of the railways, Darren Shirley, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said:
“We welcome this significant and wide-ranging review. The railway in its current form is not working for passengers. Fares continue to rise, whilst punctuality is at its lowest level for 12 years. It is understandable that passengers have lost faith and trust.
“This review must lead to much-needed reform of fares and ticketing, the franchising system and the way the railways are run. The promise that it will prioritise the needs of passengers cannot be forgotten if trust is to be rebuilt; and the reforms cannot come soon enough for long-suffering passengers.
“In the meantime, passengers cannot be expected to pay increased fares from January, and the Government should freeze fares in recognition of the poor level of service experienced across the network this year as a first step to restoring passenger confidence in the railways.”
Notes to Editors
1. The announcement of the rail review comes on the same day The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) published its report into the chaos caused by the botched timetable introduction in May.
2. Campaign for Better Transport wrote to the Prime Minister in June calling for just such a review. In a letter about the recent timetabling chaos we wrote: "In addition we want to see a full independent review of the way in which the Department for Transport manages franchises, including ways in which local authorities, passengers and communities can have a greater say over local rail services, and a commitment to future investment, especially in the north of England. Only then will people have faith that this cannot happen again."
3. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).