TRANSPORT Secretary Chris Grayling has announced a Rail Review.
The announcement comes in the wake of a troublesome and chaotic timetable implementation in May, long-running strikes, the late introduction of new trains, and a franchising system deemed broken and not fit for purpose amid rising rail fares.
His decision comes following rising pressure on the industry in a number of areas, but Mr Grayling recognises the industry has not kept pace with this significant growth, and struggled to deliver improvements for passengers following the May timetable disruption.
The decision for a review comes at the same time as the Office of Road and Rail published a no-holds-barred report into the recent timetable chaos that badly affected Thameslink and Northern services (see separate story).
Mr Grayling said the ‘root and branch’ review would be the most significant since Privatisation.
He said: “Privatisation has delivered huge benefits to passengers on Britain’s railways – doubling passenger journeys and bringing in billions of private investment.
“But it is clear that the structure we inherited is no longer fit to meet today’s challenges and cope with increasing customer demand.”
Read more in the October issue of The RM – on sale October 3!