William Eichler 02 January 2020

Charity calls for devolution to end ‘nightmare rail journeys’

A transport charity has called for a radical overhaul of the UK’s rail services including giving city authorities more control over the management of regional networks.

A new report from the Campaign for Better Transport has called for a new national rail policy which rethinks how the railways are run and what they exist to do.

It recommends replacing the franchise system with a flexible outcome-based one which allows competitive intercity services, concessions for commuter areas, and specialist agreements for areas seeing significant change and investment.

Entitled The Future of Rail, the report also calls for the devolution of procurement and oversight of services, with the management of regional networks devolved to city authorities and sub-regional transport bodies.

It argues that these are better placed to oversee services and are more able to integrate the railway with wider local transport networks.

The Campaign for Better Transport also calls for a publicly funded arm’s-length body to manage rail planning and the overall use of the network, including delivering national policy.

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