Fares, rail policy and DfT news

19.07.19

Rail North Partnership review sets out recommendations

A review of the Rail North Partnership, headed by Leeds Council leader cllr Judith Blake and rail minister Andrew Jones, has set out recommendations following the timetabling crisis last summer.

The report focuses on internal management and ensuring decision-makers are made more accountable, alongside how to rebuild trust for passengers in the current system.

The Blake-Jones review also raises long-term questions about reforms to be considered in the Williams Review, a key report for determining the shape and future of rail services in the UK.

It goes on to highlights significant failings to fully communicate the timetabling plans, and the risks associated with them.

The review claims that this led to a situation where Ministers, officials, elected members and stakeholders were unaware of the potential problem looming.

The report reads: “Even at the last minute the industry failed to identify and properly communicate the scale of the potential problem and take mitigating actions to avoid the severe disruption to people’s lives.”

In response, the review lays out recommendations for improved working relationships, greater empowerment and clearer lines of communication between the officers on the Rail North Partnership.

Commenting on the landmark report rail minister, Andrew Jones, said: “Working closely with Transport for the North, our absolute priority is to deliver reliable services.

“This review sets out how we can work to ensure passengers get the journeys they expect, and restore trust in our railway.

“We continue to see performance improving, significant investment delivering new and refurbished trains across the north.

“Industry expert Richard George is continuing to drive forward a recovery plan to deliver better journeys.”

Since last year, the rail industry has planned and implemented the summer 2019 timetable change, attempting to learn the lessons from last year and develop new and strengthened processes.

Transport for the North will consider an action plan at its July board meeting.

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