Keith Williams suggests that Government step back from the railway

Keith Williams (former CEO of British Airways) and Chair of the Williams Review, stated that the UK’s current franchising model has had its day and calls for a greater distance between government and the running of the day-to-day railway.

“I want to see the creation of a thorough modern, 21st century service provider. A railway that is run in the public’s interest, delivering for passengers, supporting local economies, embracing innovation and new business models to improve journey experience and reduce costs.”

Williams stressed the need to change both the design and culture of the railway so it prioritises customers – passengers and freight and that you do not create a customer-focused railway by putting engineers in charge. He believes that the following areas need focus to deliver the railway of the future:

  • A new passenger offer, focused on customer service excellent and driven by performance measures
  • Simplified fares and ticketing
  • A new industry structure, reducing fragmentation, better aligning track and train
  • A new commercial model
  • Greater flexibility so the sector can respond to changing travel patterns and long-term incentives for creativity and innovation.

To find out more about the Williams Review, click here.