Opinions are divided within the Rail Delivery Group when it comes to what the Williams Review should do when it comes to restructuring the industry.
On behalf of train operators, the RDG published a joint submission to Keith Williams on the 30thApril where it called for an independent national organising body to take control of the entire industry. Proposals were made concerning operators on intercity routes and commuter railways to be controlled by devolved authorities. There were also calls for simpler fares as well as removing the need for split ticketing. However, when the proposals were published by the RDG, it also admitted that not every member agreed with each part of the proposal although the support was there for the main principles.
Virgin Group, on the other hand, has a different idea because it is seeking a more radical shake-up. This would involved paths on intercity routes to be sold to the highest bidders instead of being allocated to a specific franchise. It has also made calls for seats on intercity trains to be booked in advance, removing the ability to simply walk onto trains and choose a seat.
Manuel Cortes, the TSSA general secretary has made it clear that this approach looks like the complete opposite of a professional body making the public a priority. Instead, the RDG is claimed to be fighting from within to protect their profits and position. It was only a few days ago when the RDG made a call for a single body to control the railways. Not it appears as though they are incapable of coming to an agreement about the future of rail in the UK. To add to the misery, Paul Plummer the chief executive has announced that he is leaving, suggesting that something is not right. This should leave Keith Williams with the ability to be able to see right through the plans that the RDG and Paul Plummer have. There is no doubt that the public will be able to see through it.
The RDG has made a statement about the claims of in-house disagreements. They have said that with an organisation as large as the RDG, it is inevitable that not all members will agree on everything. Despite this, they have clarified that all members agree on the principles of the proposals.