Overcrowded, overburdened and outdated railways cost passengers and businesses time and money. Britain needs a modern railway that is faster, more efficient and better connected. Improving rail infrastructure can help to support economic growth, spread prosperity and attract passengers and freight away from less environmentally friendly means of transport. The government has announced a £9.4bn package of investment in railways in England and Wales, including £4.2bn of new schemes, covering the period 2014-2019. Will the investment deliver a step change in capacity and ensure we have a world-class rail network for the future?
Sir Roy McNulty’s Value for Money Report set out the changes needed to make our railways more accountable, more efficient and better value for taxpayers and passengers. However, since then headlines have been dominated by the costly franchising fiasco on West Coast Main Line and above inflation increase in passenger fares, resulting in some of the most expensive rail journeys in Europe. The Railway Improvement: Getting Britain On Track conference will look at the challenges facing both passenger and freight rail and discuss how to meet increasing demand and strained capacity in the future.