The rail industry is facing reform. It is costing more than it used to and more than it ought to. The government is keen to target efficiency and has set up a high-level group to help shape the future of British railways. Sir Roy McNulty’s Value for Money report will help drive the changes needed to make our railways more accountable, more efficient and ultimately better value for taxpayers and passengers.
Alongside a new, more flexible franchising model the government has announced over £20bn of investment in rail transport, maintenance and carriages with key projects such as Crossrail, Thameslink and High Speed rail all given the go ahead. The significant investments are an opportunity for the industry to deliver frontier infrastructure and world-class services. However, the challenge will be in effectively managing rising demand with cost cutting proposals and public dismay at increased ticket fares.