Urban Transport Group responds to new Government rail policy

Ben Still

Ben Still, who leads for the Urban Transport Group on rail, said:

‘As key funders and partners in the development of urban rail services we welcome any moves to make the railway more joined up, efficient and reliable. Better rail services have a critical role to play in supporting the growth of urban economies, in meeting housing need, and in getting traffic off congested city streets so we need every pound to count in ensuring quality rail services every day, and expanded rail networks in the future. Transport authorities have year in and year out been at the forefront of promoting and supporting new routes and lines so we welcome the Secretary of State’s enthusiasm for bringing back services where they can put left behind communities back on the rail network and open up new opportunities for housing and regeneration.’

Ben Still, who is Managing Director of West Yorkshire Combined Authority as well as rail lead Board member for Urban Transport Group, added:

‘Rail devolution opens up the opportunity for further and faster progress in many of the areas the Secretary of State has identified as priorities. Devolved railways are more reliable, achieve higher satisfaction rates, and are closer to the passengers’ and regions they serve - leading to more investment and a more responsive approach. There is considerable scope for extending the benefits of rail devolution to more passengers and regions in a way which would achieve key Government priorities of fostering more innovation, improving services and better integrating transport networks. We believe that the Government’s overall approach to rail would be strengthened if this was more fully recognised in its overall strategy.’

The Urban Transport Group represents the transport authorities for the country’s largest city region transport authorities (West Yorkshire, Sheffield City Region, Liverpool City Region, London, Greater Manchester, West Midlands, the North East)

You can find out more about the case for rail devolution on this hub on our website: