Posted 7th March 2022 | 1 Comment

Railway suppliers set out five key targets for GBR

The Railway Industry Association is setting out five 'tests' for the future organisation Great British Railways, which is currently being set up through a mobilisation team led by Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines. RIA says its tests are intended to make sure that GBR will be able to make the most effective use of the rail supply chain. The aims are 'no hiatus in current work', transparency, a partnership between GBR and the private sector, productivity and ambition, and creating a positive legacy which includes safety, decarbonisation, exports and the economy. RIA chief executive Darren Caplan said: 'The railway industry is currently undergoing a major restructure which could change the way we work both now and in the future. So, it’s important that we get Great British Railways right, ensuring that we can all continue to deliver for passengers, freight users and the economy. The Railway Industry Association’s five tests – informed and developed by RIA members – sets out what rail suppliers need to make the new structure a success.'

Reader Comments:

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  • david c smith, Bletchley

    Great British Railway seems to be another top- down , command and control , centralised way of managing the rail system, leaving little for the TOCs, FOCs and ROSCOs to make decisions about. If so, will there be any real point in the "pretend privatisation"( a phrase borrowed from a well known railway commentator) that we have?

    Yes, there are things that are needful of coordination, but the whole idea of acheiving this through compelling operators to follow orders from a Qaungo is really not a good idea, probably resulting in operators giving up on generating the things that privatisation was supposed to bring us.

    Another facet for this restructuring is one of scale. Experience has shown that the sort of public ownership that is a success on the scale of a city or conurbation isn't succesful on a national scale. This seems to point to each conurbation to have its own public sector, direct democracy transport organisation with inter city type service given over to the commercial private sector.

    Instead of a central control, top- down quango to represent wider needs, can we not acheive this through a public body such as GBR or DfT simply creating a structure of incentivising taxes and subsidies that encourage the TOCs / FOCs to take into account wider "hidden" costs and benefits? But let the actual decisions come from the Operators!*

    [*Have other readers had enough of railway privatisation as it was set up in the 1990s, or does David have a point? Do let us know.--Ed.]