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On 20 May 2021, the government published its white paper for the railways in Britain after an 18-month delay due to the pandemic – ‘Great British Railways: The Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail’ (the Plan). The government dubs it the biggest change to the railways in 25 years. The Plan promises 10 outcomes achieved through meeting 62 commitments. At this early stage, the BCLP rail team pick out some of the numbers and statistics from the Plan to trace the thread behind the government’s thinking, and offer some initial analysis.

Some key statistics include:

  • £12 billion spent keeping trains running during pandemic;
  • rail makes up more than 50% of public spending on transport;
  • passenger numbers only back to 35% of pre-COVID levels;
  • only 47% of passengers feel journey value for money;
  • of passenger use facing permanent change;
  • almost 400 full-time staff employed to argue about delays;
  • railways matter, road traffic around 90% of pre-pandemic levels;
  • 1 guiding mind for the railways with a 30-year strategy; and
  • £1.5 billion of savings p. a. available if industry simplified and efficiencies achieved.

View the full analysis here.

This document provides a general summary and is for information/educational purposes only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, nor does it constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought before taking or refraining from taking any action.