Great British Railways Transition Team starts plans for rail transformation
The transition team behind creating Great British Railways, the new public body that will run and plan Britain’s rail network, has taken its first steps by launching its Whole Industry Strategic Plan for Rail ‘Call for Evidence’.
Credit: Network Rail Air Operations
Great British Railways (GBR) has been established to create a simpler, better railway, and one that enables much closer collaboration and joint working with local leaders so it can serve the people of Britain and help deliver the government’s priorities.
The transition team responsible for creating GBR has today (9 December 2021) taken its first steps towards providing clear, long-term plans for transforming the railways with the launch of an eight-week call for evidence to support a 30-year, Whole Industry Strategic Plan.
Announced two months ago by the Secretary of State for Transport to pave the way for the transition to the future of rail, the Great British Railways Transition Team (GBRTT) will be asking stakeholders to provide their views on how rail can contribute to five strategic objectives set by government.
Backed by the innovation and enterprise of the private sector, the call for evidence on the Strategic Plan will ask how the rail industry can play a part in boosting the economy, providing access to new jobs and opportunities and making the railways a keystone in the UK’s plans to build back better and greener.
By setting out five objectives – meeting customers’ needs, delivering financial sustainability, contributing to long-term economic growth, levelling up & connectivity, and delivering environmental sustainability – the call for evidence will help to play an instrumental role in setting the rail system map for the future and helping create a simpler, better railway for everyone in Britain.
Andrew Haines, Leader of the GBRTT, said: “The Whole Industry Strategic Plan will help determine the future of the railway and we want it to be informed by as many different perspectives as possible, to learn from the lessons of the past and to meet the challenges of the future. We hope a wide range of organisations and experts, both inside and outside the rail industry, will respond to our call for evidence, to help us all make the most out of this opportunity to create a railway that truly delivers for all that use, service and depend on it. Together, we will create a simpler, better railway for everyone in Britain.”
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, commented: “From dealing with the challenges of coronavirus to the decarbonising the sector – the rail landscape as we know it, is changing and we need to ensure our railways are able to keep up with the demands of modern life. I have tasked the GBRTT to work with industry partners and beyond to create a 30-year plan that will ensure the railway develops to support our national priorities, whilst building on the reforms of the Williams-Shapps reform offering passengers a better deal and taxpayers better value for money.”
Experts from across the rail and tansport industry and beyond have been invited to submit evidence to ensure this first-of-its-kind strategy will receive contributions from a wide range of stakeholders.
The call for evidence will run until 4 February 2022.