In 2018, Keith Williams, Chairman of Royal Mail was asked to look at the structure of the whole rail industry and the way passenger rail services are delivered.

A key finding of the Williams Review was the railway lacked a long-term vision or strategy. This led to uncoordinated, short term decisions being made which didn’t provide the best value for money, reflect local transport strategies or help stimulate the supply chain.

GBRTT is working with industry to develop a long term strategy for rail which will unlock this potential while also delivering the Government’s strategic objectives for the railway: 

  • Meeting customer needs
  • Delivering financial sustainability
  • Contributing to long term economic growth
  • Levelling up
  • Delivering environmental sustainability

As set out by the Secretary of State, Mark Harper MP in the Bradshaw Address 2023, the long term strategy for rail will be published later this year.

GBRTT is working with the rail industry to respond to the Government’s priorities for rail in the medium and long term.

We are working on meeting customer needs by: 

  • Increasing value for money and improving the performance, reliability and convenience of rail
  • Meeting multi-modal expectations and reducing end-to-end journey time
  • Maintaining a safe railway as part of a safe transport system and widening accessibility 

We are delivering financial sustainability by: 

  • Reducing costs to government
  • Ensuring a sustainable balance of fare/fee and government funding
  • Increasing the efficiency of operations, asset management and capital investment – delivering on time and on budget. 

We are contributing to long-term economic growth by: 

  • Reducing journey times and cost for transport users
  • Connecting labour markets and realising agglomeration benefits. 
  • Connecting places to markets, directly investing in skills, innovation, and digital infrastructure, crowding-in foreign investment, and facilitating the housebuilding and place-making agenda. 

We are reducing regional inequalities and supporting levelling up by: 

  • Contributing to long-term economic growth. 
  • Creating social benefits from improved connectivity. 
  • Improving passenger and freight connectivity
  • Contributing to long-term economic growth in areas in support of levelling up
  • Contributing to social benefits from improved connectivity
  • Improving rail passenger and freight connectivity across the union

We are delivering environmental sustainability by: 

  • Increasing the attractiveness of rail over other less sustainable modes of transport. 
  • Delivering rail net-zero (traction and infrastructure), protecting biodiversity, and addressing air pollution. 
  • Protecting transport links by investing in climate adaptation. 

The team are also working across the industry to embed objective-led, evidence-based, transparent and collaborative values in four areas: 

  1. Transport planning and policy: aligning rail strategy to broader transport and urban planning in cities and regions. 
  2. Strategy development and integration: leading on the development of the long-term strategy for rail. 
  3. Strategic analysis: providing economic, modelling, and analytical expertise. 
  4. Strategy delivery: coordinating the activities that underpin our accountabilities.