The Transport Select Committee was given evidence from Keith Williams of the Williams Rail Review where it was confirmed that a recommendation for restructuring UK rail is in the report. As a result, the RIA has welcomed the decision.
However, the aim of the recommendation is to focus on customers instead of the day-to-day running by the Department of Transport.
The Chief Executive of the RIA, Darren Caplan has said that the evidence and the recommendations that have been made should help to see changes to the way in which the railways in the UK are run and structured in future years.
As a result, the RIA supports the commitment from Williams whereby a thirty-year vision for the rail network in the UK will help the industry to move forward, improve and plan accordingly.
The Railway Industry Association, as well as its members, believe that it is important to consider the best operating model for the railway. However, it is important that the voice of suppliers is also heard, particularly if everyone is to work together to create a world-class railway where passengers and freight customers receive the service they deserve. They also believe that there should be no breaks in continuity when it comes to maintaining, renewing and enhancing the railways while the recommendations are put in place.
The RIA also backs the structure whereby the Department for Transport as well as ministers and officials are both responsible and accountable for the strategies put in place for the railway. Instead, professionals located across the country will be in charge of implementation.
Therefore, under this structure, the RIA has urged Willams as well as the DT to make it their priority to deal with the workflows in order to reduce the cost of the railway by as much as 30%. They will also be expected to progress recently published upgrade projects through the Rail Network Enhancement Pipeline. They also want rail suppliers to receive the right support in order to work innovatively, efficiently and collaboratively to assist all of those who use the rail system. Something which suppliers will no doubt be welcoming.