On the Right Track: Rail Post the Williams Review | IPT
Chair: Huw Merriman MP, Chair, Select Committee on Transport
Speaker: Johnny Schute, Chief Operating Officer, Rail Safety and Standards Board
Speaker: Mary Hewitt, Managing Director, Chiltern Railways
Dinner Discussion


Monday 19 October 2020


House of Commons

Start Time:


End Time:


Over the past 20 years rail use has increased by 97%, growing faster than any other mode of transport, reaching a record 1.8 billion journeys in 2018/2019. This is coupled with more public and private money being invested into the rail industry than at any other time in history. The Williams Review was established in late 2018 as a “sweeping review to transform Britain’s railways”. Whilst the report is yet to be published, Williams has confirmed that the review will recommend the creation of a new national railway body to act as a ‘guiding mind’ and aim to reduce fragmentation across industry. The Transport Secretary has confirmed that such a body will be part of the reconstructed rail system. He also announced that concessions, rather than franchises, will be the basis of the future model. With the Government committing to a ‘year of action’, what could be done to ensure the rail industry provides value for money for customers and the taxpayer in the long-term?

This dinner discussion will:

  • Consider the potential responsibilities to be held by a new national railway body.
  • Discuss the role of the regions in decision-making about services and upgrades.
  • Explore the future of ticketing, including increased digital services.