Submission to the "Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail: A Consultation on Legislation to Implement Rail Transformation"

29 July 2022

RIA has submitted a response to Department for Transport’s (DfT) consultation on the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail and legislative changes to implement rail reform.

RIA's key recommendations

The response includes 7 key recommendations:

  1. As a guiding mind, GBR should be ambitious and think strategically about the long-term by working with all major railway industry players, including the supply chain, to maximise benefits across the railway and to the wider economy.
  2. GBR should drive policies on access in a way that encourages and attracts private investment, delivering benefits for both the rail user and the taxpayer. On access, ORR should act as a strong independent regulator and provide scrutiny.
  3. Primary legislation should include a duty on GBR to support the resilience, capability, and productivity of the supply chain, and to recognise the value of suppliers to the UK economy and UK plc.
  4. Primary legislation should include a duty on GBR to develop and maintain a 30-year plan, such as the Whole Industry Strategic Plan (WISP), and this should be done in the most transparent and collaborative way possible.
  5. Primary legislation should include a duty to promote transparency and ensure a level playing field between GBR and the private sector. For the supply chain, transparency is important both in procurement (early supplier engagement and publication of indicative volumes) and strategy (sharing of long-term funding plans for all disciplines). The GBR licence should contain details on how this duty will be upheld. This is particularly important for retailing and data and can be enforced by ORR.
  6. Primary legislation should include a duty on GBR to grow revenue and the customer base and manage costs. GBR should be a patient investor that optimises long-term social, economic, and environmental benefits.
  7. With lines of accountability changing, the ORR should still be empowered to hold GBR to account – providing effective independent scrutiny and regulation.

The Submission

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