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Next Government needs to move quickly on rail reform 

28 May 2024 


The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has published a report scrutinising the Government’s rail reform programme. The cross-party committee of MPs said ‘no-one in Government is putting the needs of passengers and taxpayers first.’

Commenting on the report Railway Industry Association (RIA) Policy Director, Robert Cook, said: “Two years ago RIA published five tests for Great British Railways in which we called for the reform programme to support ambition, transparency, partnership, productivity and avoid any hiatus in work. Over recent years we have consistently written to ministers, urging them to get on with rail reform.”

He continued: “Six years to the month since the timetabling chaos which instigated the Williams Review and the rail reform programme, the Committee’s conclusions are a reminder that our tests have still not been met and that many rail suppliers have struggled through this uncertainty. The next Government needs to accelerate rail reform and to drive growth and deliver a better railway.”

Notes to Editors
  1. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has over 360 companies in membership in a sector that contributes £43 billion in economic growth and £14 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 710,000 people. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK; for every £1 spent in rail, £2.50 is generated in the wider economy. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number).
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