Publication of a key report essential step in the creation of a rail strategy over 30 years
The views of hundreds of organizations and individuals on the future priorities for Britain’s railways have been summarized and published today, marking an important step towards creating a 30-year strategy that will set the strategic context and the main priorities of the railway industry.
The strategy, known as the Strategic Plan for the whole industry, was commissioned by the Transport Secretary as part of the historic Williams-Shapps plan for rail in May 2021. The strategy will build on the Expertise and knowledge from the rail sector and beyond, and the Call for Evidence report which was released today is a key part of this collaborative process.
The Great British Railways Transition Team’s Call for Evidence Report summarizes the ideas and evidence from the 307 responses to the Call for Evidence. Decarbonization, accessibility, the need for a strong customer service ethic and financial sustainability, as well as the importance of integration with other transport, were among the areas of interest identified by respondents. Analysis of their responses reveals that:
- Almost three-quarters (72%) of those who comment on customer needs highlighted the need to better understand customer, passenger and cargo expectations.
- Seventy-one percent of environmental sustainability comments suggested that the railway could play a greater role in decarbonizing the entire transportation network
- More than two-thirds (69%) of those who commented on the role of rail in leveling and connectivity shared their views on the role rail can play in facilitating better access to employment, education and social opportunities.
The evidence provided by respondents is used to help develop the strategy, informing decisions about how the railroad can improve and contribute to the country over the next three decades. Ultimately, the strategy will be used by ministers to ensure the railway meets public priorities.
Great British Railways Transition Team Leader Andrew Haines said:
“It has been a valuable experience engaging with key rail industry stakeholders and partners as part of this call for evidence process. We’ve met with hundreds of organizations, asking questions and unchecking how we can all create a simpler, better railroad for everyone.
“Mapping the views of our stakeholders and gathering evidence from them is central to creating a meaningful 30-year rail strategy. It was an ambitious process but made possible thanks to the will of those who contributed to it, I would like to thank everyone for their support.
Work on the strategy is well advanced and we continue to engage with a wide range of stakeholders as it develops. The first version of the strategy will be ready towards the end of the year.
You can read the call for evidence response report and a summary of it here.