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Railhub Archive
2004-01-19 DfT-001
Department for Transport


Major rail review announced

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railway reform

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Department for Transport

Major rail review announced

19 Jan 2004 00:00
source Department for Transport
type Press release

Today, Alistair Darling announced a major review of the structure of Britain's railway.

The review will focus on three things:

- The structural and organisational changes needed to improve rail performance for its customers;
- the progress being made by increased investment and the means by which costs can be better controlled; and,
- the regulation of safety.

The Government will publish proposal in the summer and will set out its spending plans for railways through to 2008 in the Spending Review.

Alistair Darling said:

"Britain's railways are currently enjoying unprecedented levels of investment. This is beginning to bear fruit, over a billion passengers used the railways last year, new rolling stock is coming into service and the West Coast Mainline is being upgraded. Safety and reliability is improving.

"But there remains a further and serious difficulty facing the industry. The way the industry was privatised has led to fragmentation that has compounded the problems caused by decades of financial neglect.

"There are too many organisations, some with overlapping responsibilities. This has got in the way of effective decision making and frequently leads to dispute. Passengers and taxpayers will only suffer further if this fragmentation is not addressed.

"So we now need to build on the investment we've made and on the structural changes already put in place. Not only to put the railway on a sound financial footing, but at the same time to provide it with the right structure and organisation to take it through the next decade and beyond.

"The railway must act in the public interest and the Government will continue to work in partnership with the private sector. Independent economic regulation will remain.

"The objective is clear. To streamline the structure and make it as simple and effective as possible. Our commitment is long term. Our aim is to make Britain's railway fit for the future".

A copy of the Secretary of State's statement to the House is available on the Department's web site.

Railhub Archive ::: 2004-01-19 DfT-001


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