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Author Topic: Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail / Great British Railways  (Read 48007 times)
Red Squirrel
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« Reply #165 on: May 29, 2021, 10:44:47 am »

I attended the RAIL webinar on this yesterday. Hendy, Schute, Bagnall and Williams were all very positive about the plan.

If you have an hour-and-a-bit to spare, you can watch a recording here: https://www.bigmarker.com/bauer-media/RAIL-webinar?bmid=bc970b7cfab8

And in 1994 so where John Major MP (Member of Parliament) and John MacGregor MP very positive about their plan for the Railways

The fact that both those people have the letters 'MP' after their name should augur caution. This time, it's quite different; people who have a good understanding of how rail works are welcoming the changes.

One of the key things that is emphasised in the webinar and the Rail Committee meeting is how the DfT» (Department for Transport - about)'s meddling costs so much and delivers so little. As an example, Nigel Harris reckons IET (Intercity Express Train)'s cost three times as much as they should. When operators asked if it was possible for them to have seats that don't put passengers in agony, the DfT responded with a flat 'no'.

Williams said that decisions about organisation came at the end of the review, as a result of his findings, after functions and roles had been determined. It's really hard to understand what people thing would be gained by nationalising the railways per se, given that most of what is wrong with them today has its roots in DfT micromanagement.
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« Reply #166 on: March 30, 2022, 07:37:48 pm »


Wendy Morton, andrew Haines and Conrad Bailey were interviewed by the Transport Committee this morning. Available via this link
https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/e0a73f05-59f8-4e20-bf8b-f2dfd8339842

Provides an update on progress. All three seemed to have a good grasp of their briefs.
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stuving
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« Reply #167 on: June 10, 2022, 11:03:59 am »

A consultation on the legislation for GBR (Great British Railways) was launched yesterday:
Quote
Consultation description

We are asking for opinions on proposed changes to primary legislation required to bring about rail reform.

This consultation covers:

    core functions and duties of Great British Railways
    new governance framework
    reform of wider industry structures and processes

We are also seeking evidence of the risks and potential implications of the policies proposed to inform our impact assessments. This includes any potential costs, benefits, disadvantages or risks.

Our current appraisal is contained in the impact assessments published alongside this consultation. It will be updated when the Transport Bill is laid in Parliament.
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« Reply #168 on: June 10, 2022, 11:11:04 am »

This is where I believe User Groups & their like need to ensure that there is a consultation requirement on GBR (Great British Railways) Railways over customer-side operations like Fares and specifically timetables - and not simply to advocate groups like Tranmsport Focus & Local Councils!

Get responding!
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« Reply #169 on: June 10, 2022, 11:30:20 am »

I have mirrored the consultation document (here)
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« Reply #170 on: July 05, 2022, 01:10:49 pm »

Sorry grahame, Melksham doesn't appear to be on the short listing.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-62047964
Six towns have been announced as the shortlist to become the home of Great British Railways (GBR (Great British Railways)).
....continues....
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« Reply #171 on: July 05, 2022, 03:18:40 pm »

Sorry grahame, Melksham doesn't appear to be on the short listing.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-62047964
Six towns have been announced as the shortlist to become the home of Great British Railways (GBR (Great British Railways)).
....continues....

Quote
Birmingham, Crewe, Derby, Doncaster, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and York will now go to a public vote where people can choose the town or city they think makes the best case to operate the rail headquarters.

A total of 42 towns and cities had bid to host the base since the competition to find a home for the headquarters was launched in October.
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« Reply #172 on: July 05, 2022, 04:05:30 pm »

Does Scotland,as well as Transport for Wales,come under GBR (Great British Railways)?

If not Birmingham, Crewe or Derby is fine by me.
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« Reply #173 on: July 05, 2022, 07:16:15 pm »

A public vote looks like a recipe for Railway McRail face.
Do the job properly by  listing the requirements and scoring each of the shortlisted candidates.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #174 on: July 05, 2022, 08:31:16 pm »

It’s simply a guide vote, not a public winner.
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« Reply #175 on: July 17, 2022, 08:57:02 pm »

It’s simply a guide vote, not a public winner.
So what is the point of it? Will the choice of site have an effect on the quality of the decisions emanating from it?
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JayMac
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« Reply #176 on: September 28, 2022, 09:03:43 am »

"Great British Railways is dead"

So says Christian Wolmar. The future certainly doesn't look that bright.

From The Guardian:

Quote
Great British Railways is dead’: rail industry at lowest ebb since the days of Railtrack
Grant Shapps ‘revolutionary’ GBR (Great British Railways) plan faces huge challenges

Barely 18 months have elapsed since a starry-eyed Grant Shapps unveiled the blueprint for a “revolutionary” Great British Railways, but it already has the flavour of an optimistic misnomer. Even an adequate British railway would be welcomed by those passengers stranded by everything from Avanti’s collapse to failing infrastructure and unprecedented strikes.

Only a fraction of the timetabled trains continue to run between London and Britain’s biggest cities, though operator Avanti has pledged to start its recovery to full service this week. National strikes, the likes of which had not been seen for 30 years, are now a regular occurrence, with little sign of breakthrough in talks. Infrastructure projects have been pared back or shelved, with the public all but gaslit with reannounced schemes for new railways.

Rail’s financial structures, credited by proponents of privatisation with revitalising the industry for 25 years, have been ripped up. The pandemic played a hugely damaging role, prompting the blanket scrapping of franchising as passenger revenue disappeared. But Covid arguably only accelerated the death of a system that was already acknowledged to be falling apart.

The Williams-Shapps review, commissioned back in 2018, long gestating and long delayed, ended up with the proposed creation of Great British Railways – a guiding mind, bringing together Network Rail and train operators, issuing better contracts, with sensible fares and ticketing, putting passengers first and independent of government micromanagement. Few in the industry argued with the conclusions. But few now are sure exactly when – or if – they will be followed through.

A transition team is in place, working up the details from the white paper. But many see little prospect in this parliamentary session for the bill promised in the Queen’s speech.

Even before Shapps departed in Boris Johnson’s wake, the Department for Transport’s officials found themselves in an unexpected battle. A year after the plan was released, fundamental aspects were not agreed with the Treasury. Internal documents seen by the Guardian reveal clashes over core policy issues, such as whether the new GBR would indeed have independent control of timetabling and the design of services, or where revenue risk should lie.

Civil servants have grown increasingly disillusioned with progress, despite the millions spent, the time invested, and the platoons of consultants employed. The most tangible sign of action was the public poll launched this summer, in a Shapps wheeze, to pick the future HQ (Headquarters) of GBR. The results are still under wraps, unsettling rail staff already installed in London and Milton Keynes, and leaving some to ponder whether they are ready for life in Doncaster, if the favourite York doesn’t make it.

That announcement is apparently one of the first in the in-tray of new transport secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan – even if rail’s wider purgatory may not end soon. But, as one rail source puts it: “Something’s got to give. The industry’s in a complete mess, there’s no certainty. GBR was meant to be the future. Delaying it is just prolonging the paralysis.”

Christian Wolmar, the rail historian, makes a blunter prediction: “GBR is dead. There is no legislation and they will have to muddle through. The grand ideas did not really accord. Does this government really like the idea of a strong arms-length organisation running the railways?”
The railway’s problems are evident, he says: “When you travel in the trains there’s a feeling that no one really cares if the trains are late, or where you need to go. If they keep trying to push through cuts it will deteriorate. There’s a real breakdown in morale in managers and staff.”

The mini-budget unveiled on Friday by Kwasi Kwarteng is unlikely to help: announcing plans to stop strikes and hamper unions asking for a cost-of-living pay rise, while effectively raising the pay of bosses across the negotiating table – let alone its wider economic effects on the industry.

The government did not confirm whether it would be taking forward Shapps’ GBR plans. A DfT» (Department for Transport - about) spokesperson says: “Our railways are in need of modernisation and this new government is committed to building a reliable, punctual and affordable service that’s fit for the 21st century.”

They add: “We’re accelerating a number of rail projects through our ambitious new Growth Plan, and our £96bn integrated rail plan will deliver improvements quicker than previous plans and benefit millions for generations to come by electrifying lines, delivering hi-tech trains and powering up projects like HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)).”

The promise to “accelerate infrastructure schemes”, such as Northern Powerhouse Rail, listed vaguely at no 96 in the appendix of the growth plan, received a sceptical welcome from an industry which has waited years for a basic pipeline of works to be updated. Those closer to the flagship schemes already approved, such as East-West Rail, are already hinting they are more likely to be abandoned.

For Wolmar, the industry – still under instruction to close the £2bn revenue gap from lost commuters – is at its lowest ebb since the disaster-scarred days of Railtrack, two decades ago. “The problem this time is that it’s really structural,” he says. “You can’t see a way out of it all without very strong direction. But after franchising, there’s no real idea what to do.”

Reform may instead come from a different political direction: Labour, leading strongly in the polls since Friday, reaffirmed at conference its commitment to renationalisation of rail as train operators’ contracts expire. Unless GBR is up and running by 2024, it may find it has run out of track.
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« Reply #177 on: October 19, 2022, 10:09:42 am »

Confirmation coming from parliament today all ready on twitter,that it's being scrapped
What a waste of time and money that was total and utter C/F...
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grahame
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« Reply #178 on: October 19, 2022, 10:20:31 am »

Confirmation coming from parliament today all ready on twitter,that it's being scrapped
What a waste of time and money that was total and utter C/F...

Q $64,000 - so how are the railways going to be organised and run in the future?
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« Reply #179 on: October 19, 2022, 01:23:05 pm »

Confirmation coming from parliament today all ready on twitter,that it's being scrapped
What a waste of time and money that was total and utter C/F...

The BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) says delayed rather than scrapped - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-63313823

Quote
The establishment of a new public body to operate Britain's railways is set to be delayed, after Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said a draft law was being delayed.

The Transport Bill was to have included the creation of Great British Railways.

Ms Trevelyan said her department had "lost the opportunity" to bring forward the bill in this session of Parliament.

She admitted this meant GBR (Great British Railways) was unlikely to be fully in place by early 2024, as had been hoped.

But she said she expected "the hiatus will be short", adding that the legislation should follow in the next session of parliament, from next May.

But will it ever come back, or is this a "Portishead Bounce" where it will keep being kicked out so it never actually happens?
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