Urban Transport Group welcomes rail review as opportunity to extend rail devo benefits

Press release

Responding to the review of the future structure of the rail network announced by Chris Grayling today, Ben Still (Managing Director of West Yorkshire Combined Authority), who leads on rail for the Urban Transport Group, said:

"We welcome the rail review and we will be making a strong case that if we want better urban and regional rail services then we need to transfer responsibilities for more rail services to devolved authorities. As we have seen in Merseyside, Scotland and on London Overground, full devolution works because it brings control over rail services closer to the passengers and places that rely on those services. As a result there has been more investment, higher passenger satisfaction and better performance.

"As the Glaister report into recent failings of the current structure shows there is a need to establish clearer lines of responsibility for making sure the railway delivers for the people and regions it serves. This is what a devolved approach can bring by replacing remote control and fragmented oversight with much more local and focussed accountability."

For more contact Jonathan Bray on 0781 804 1485

The Urban Transport Group represents the country’s largest urban transport authorities (Transport for London, Transport for West Midlands, Merseytravel, South Yorkshire PTE, Transport for Greater Manchester, Nexus and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority).

The Urban Transport Group’s micro-site on the case for rail devolution can be found here: http://www.urbantransportgroup.org/resources/regional-and-urban-rail/case-devolution-urban-and-regional-rail