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East Midlands Chamber News

Rail reform must make travel ‘easier, cheaper and more reliable’, says East Midlands Chamber

Responding to the Government’s proposals on railway reform which includes the establishment of a new public sector organisation, Great British Railways, to be responsible for trains and tracks, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) chief executive Scott Knowles said: “The success of Government’s plans announced today will be judged by whether they make travel easier, cheaper and more reliable, which will be crucial in getting more people onto trains and more sustainable modes of public transport.

“We welcome the pledge to increase flexibility through a new approach to season tickets. Working patterns were evolving beyond traditional hours before the pandemic but the desire for a more agile lifestyle has crystallised over the past 14 months.

“The future of work will likely be a hybrid between office and home for some  sectors and our public transport system should reflect this. Hopefully, these changes will also incentivise people to return to our cities and towns as we emerge from lockdown restrictions.

“It’s important the move towards greater public ownership isn’t allowed to hinder innovation, which our region has been at the forefront of within the rail industry in particular, and it’s absolutely crucial that investment now follows to bring our ageing rail infrastructure into the 21st century.

“This encouraging start must translate into a longer-term concrete commitment to positive change for our railways that places the passenger at the heart of the system.”