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The next steps for rail services in the UK - infrastructure, accountability and meeting the needs of users

Event date
Central London
STRIA Roadmaps
Infrastructure (INF)
Transport mode
Rail icon


Taking place at a midpoint in the ‘root and branch’ Williams Rail Review, this conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss priorities for improving rail services, the future of the rail franchising model and priorities for rail infrastructure investment.

With the Review tasked with considering options for the Government’s franchising strategy - and the Opposition leading calls to renationalise rail services - this session will provide an opportunity to assess whether the franchising model is fit for purpose and whether reform is needed.

What more should done to ‘bring track and train closer together’ and strengthen coordination across network rail and route operators will also be discussed.

With the Review also expected to look into whether fundamental changes regarding accountability are required - following in part from the ORR review into the May 2018 rail timetable failure - attendees at this conference will assess the way forward for tackling the challenges of delivering reliable services, value for money for passengers, reducing disruption and boosting performance.

Attendees will also discuss priorities for future rail infrastructure with Network Rail’s Strategic Business Plan setting out its plans for CP6 (Control Period 6) investment aimed at running a ‘safe, reliable, efficient and growing railway’.

They will also assess the relationship between national and regional governance and the impact of regional transport bodies - such as Transport for the North and Midlands Connect - with delegates expected to discuss whether more should be done to improve coordination across the rail system, the role of regional bodies in driving infrastructure delivery and how best to link up national rail projects with regional transport links to improve passenger experience.

Further sessions discuss the future of fare reform and challenges of delivering improved digitisation.

It comes with the Rail Delivery Group’s calls for wide-ranging fare reforms in its submission to the Williams review, and the Government’s plans for increased digital signalling and the proposed introduction of 5G onto rail services nationwide.