Rail review must bring tangible improvements

Posted on 18 Oct 2018 and read 538 times
Rail review must bring tangible improvementsCommenting on the ‘root and branch’ review of the railway network announced recently by the Government, Hannah Essex — co-executive director of the British Chambers of Commerce — said: “After years of disruption and uncertainty, this review comes not before time.

Given the role that the railways play in the daily lives of employees and businesses in many parts of the UK, the review must deliver tangible and visible improvements to the system for both businesses and commuters.

Our business communities are clear that the private sector has played — and must continue to play — a key role in running and improving the UK’s rail network.

Yet the partnership between the private and public sector on the railways needs to change to alleviate the inexcusable delays and disruption faced by commuters and businesses under the current franchise system.

“Travel delays increase business costs, jeopardise business opportunities and make firms less competitive.

“This review must tackle all the aspects of rail travel currently worrying businesses, including service reliability, pricing, ticket flexibility, innovation, investment, freight and value for money.

“The review should also look at what more needs to be done to increase connectivity on trains, so that commuters and businesses alike can make productive use of their journey time.”

Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Britain’s railway is a vital catalyst for small-business growth.

“If we want to increase the productivity of small firms, a well-maintained, reliable and integrated transport system is crucial.

“Those running small businesses, their customers and staff are hugely impacted by the inconvenience of cancelled trains, chaotic delays and overcrowding.”

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