I’d encourage constituents, businesses and community groups in Newport East to participate in the Department for Transport (DfT) consultation on the rail industry in Britain.
The consultation forms part of the Williams Rail Review, led by independent chair and former British Airways Chief Executive Keith Williams. The DfT say that Keith Williams will spearhead a ‘sweeping review’ of the rail industry, and that the stated aim of the consultation is to “inform a transformation of the rail industry to benefit passengers and support a stronger, fairer economy”.
This consultation offers a real opportunity for the public to send a strong message to the Government on the need to improve overcrowded, unreliable and over-priced rail services. We need a rail sector that will prioritize public need over than private profit.
This is also a chance to highlight chronic under-investment in rail in Wales. Despite Network Rail’s Wales Route having 11% of the route length, 11% of the stations and 20% of the level crossings across England and Wales, only an average of around 2% of money spent on network enhancements across England and Wales since 2011 has been spent here.
This is unacceptable, and if the Government are really serious about ‘transforming’ rail in Britain they need to address this. I’d encourage anyone in Newport East who has views on the current rail system to contribute to the consultation.
The consultation closes on 31st May 2019. The government will publish a white paper on the review’s recommendations, with the implementation of reforms planned to start from 2020.