24 MAY 2021


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Article from BTNews 24 MAY 2021

The Williams Report

Former British Airways Chief Executive Keith Williams long-delayed report on the UK’s rail system has inevitably produced a mixed response.

The RMT predictably did not like it!  General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “This is a missed opportunity by the Government to make a clean break from the failures of the past that have left Britain's railways in the slow lane.”

He was joined by Labour's Shadow Transport Secretary, Jim McMahon, who said that the reforms were unlikely to work. "With fare hikes, £1bn cuts to Network Rail and broken promises to communities across the country, it's yet another example of ministers talking a good game, with very little substance underneath."

Trainline, the rail ticket agent, has made no comment, but has been caught by the idea of a national ticket website.  The company had commanded a £2bn valuation before Thursday’s white paper saw its shares falling 23%.

Henri Murison, Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, welcomed the plan in principle saying the old franchise model "was broken".

Anthony Smith, Chief Executive of passenger watchdog Transport Focus, noted passengers would welcome a move "towards a more accountable and joined-up railway".

See COMMENT: British Rail “A privatisation too far” in this week’s BTN.


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