Awards, contracts & appointments


Campaigners ‘not convinced’ of benefits of increased open access

Proposals to increase open access to British railways could fail to achieve their goals and waste money currently being spent on upgrades, Campaign for Better Transport has said ahead of tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech.

In a media briefing, the campaign said that the speech could contain an announcement that the Competition and Markets Authority’s recommendations for a competitive TOC licensing model will be made law.

The campaigners said: “We are not convinced moves to increase the number of open access rail operators will benefit either rail users or the taxpayer or how this would work with other planned reforms, such as efforts to forge closer relationships between train operations and track management through more devolution.

“In fact trying to create choice and spare capacity in this environment could waste some of the billions currently being spent on upgrading and enhancing the network.”

It also called for more of the HS2 Bill, currently in the House of Lords, to be amended to ensure effective integration with the existing rail network, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from transport and an increase in rail freight.

The most recent edition of RTM features an article by Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail manager at Campaign for Better Transport, on what the Shaw report means for the rail sector.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.


Nonsuchmike   17/05/2016 at 13:49

Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but this smacks of hypocrisy just as the Tobacco companies of the US used to bang on about "Smoking doesn't cause lung cancer as it's not proven" years ago, suppressing their own research which did point in that direction. One would advise that maybe a NFP enterprise could have open access and show them how it is done without wasting public money. Whilst listening to the Rail Minister the other day I was struck that she did mention longer platforms, longer trains, new rolling stock, more comfortable, more frequent, quicker, journeys and Crossrail (all things planned and initiated originally under a Labour government, incidentally), yet failed to mention how little in the way of new steel lines being made to improve matters at choke points including connectivity and freight flow. Where was the commitment to double the Felixstowe link which must be the biggest priority now? On the other side of the country, where is the resolve to improve the south west link via a new re-aligned Okehampton route? Or improve passenger and industrial access by initiating the doubling with stations on the Henbury loop? Why do we not have better track access from Peterborough & Leicester to the west midlands and north west? Or building another viaduct @ North Welwyn and driving another tunnel through to take four tracks further north to improve services to the north and Humberside? All for the price set aside to just upgrade the A14 over the next decade and associated counties.

Manchester Mike   17/05/2016 at 14:17

Another kluge to try to make rail privatisation work. There is little transparency in how the open access proponents will actually reduce overall costs of the rail system.

Noam Bleicher   18/05/2016 at 11:42

What we need is a centrally-specified high standard of service on ALL long distance Inter City [capitals intentional] routes, not superb service with comfortable trains on a limited number of routes, like Hull Trains, and utter rubbish, no better than commuter stock, on Cross Country Voyagers. Bring back British Rail.

Martin T   19/05/2016 at 14:44

Isn't the Campaign for Better Transport heavily (but not exclusively) financed by the trade unions? Given that the unions want complete renationalisation then by implication they are opposed to open access. Feels like the paymaster calling the tune.

Add your comment



rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Crossrail restarts dynamic testing on Elizabeth Line after series of delays

18/01/2019Crossrail restarts dynamic testing on Elizabeth Line after series of delays

Crossrail has begun operating test trains on the Elizabeth Line, restarting a crucial part of testing after months of setbacks and delays. T... more >
Unions launch campaign after closure notice served on 200-job Glasgow rail depot

18/01/2019Unions launch campaign after closure notice served on 200-job Glasgow rail depot

Rail maintenance company Gemini Rail has served a closure notice on its Springburn depot and served workers with redundancy notices, sparking uni... more >
Former Highways England manager to join Transport for the North in new director role

18/01/2019Former Highways England manager to join Transport for the North in new director role

A former Highways England manager is set to join Transport for the North (TfN) to operate as the body’s new strategy and programme director... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

5 reasons why you should be involved with TransCityRail

18/01/20195 reasons why you should be involved with TransCityRail

TransCityRail brings a unique opportunity to gain invaluable insight into what’s happening in the rail industry across the Midlands, exhibit, and place your brand in front of budget-holders whilst taking advantage of the hours of networking with senior decision-makers. 5 reasons why you should be involved with TransCityRail Midlands ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Repoint: revolutionising track switch

15/01/2019Repoint: revolutionising track switch

Sam Bemment, senior R&D engineer at Loughborough University, brings us an update on the Repoint project – a scheme which has transforme... more >
ORR: Defining an 'efficient' railway

15/01/2019ORR: Defining an 'efficient' railway

Ahead of CP6, Howard Taylor, cost manager of railway planning and performance at the ORR, dives deep into the regulator’s assessment of wha... more >
Network Rail & Innovate UK: Ready for the future

15/01/2019Network Rail & Innovate UK: Ready for the future

As part of its Open for Business programme, Network Rail recently teamed up with Innovate UK to give businesses a chance to win a share of £... more >
CP6: Room for improvement

15/01/2019CP6: Room for improvement

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), assesses Network Rail’s confirmed spending plans for CP6. Th... more >

rail industry focus

View all News


Rail Ombudsman interview: RTM sits down with CEO Kevin Grix

20/12/2018Rail Ombudsman interview: RTM sits down with CEO Kevin Grix

In November, the first ever Rail Ombudsman was established in a bid to give passengers a free independent service to allow passengers to claim co... more >