Combined Authority response on Queen's Speech rail reform proposals

North’s rail network "requires major investment to address the capacity crisis we continue to face,” says Cllr Blake

14 October 2019

Responding to proposals for railway reform in today’s Queen’s Speech, Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Lead, said:  “We look forward to seeing the detail of the Williams Review and in particular how the Government’s commitment to greater local control over rail services will be translated into clear roles and responsibilities and how it will be funded.

“As a major investor in and around the rail network and given its crucial role in achieving our clean growth ambitions, we would welcome the opportunity to have a greater say in the way services are designed and delivered. However, we need to ensure any reform puts the interests of passengers first and does not introduce further fragmentation into the network.

“Reform of management processes alone will not fix the failings of the North’s rail network which requires major investment to address the capacity crisis we continue to face.”

The government has said it will publish a White Paper on the Williams Review recommendations later this autumn. It will then start implementing reforms from 2020, prioritising improvements for passengers.