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Futures for Freight in the Williams-Shapps Restructuring Rail White Paper

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Sir Peter Hendy CBE discusses rail freight opporftunities in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail

"Let's stop what went wrong yesterday and make it better tomorrow."



Just one week after the launch on May 20th of the long-awaited railway restructuring White Paper based on the Williams Review 2018, Carmen Sir Peter Hendy CBE joined the RAIL’s virtual sofa discussion, Tracey Worth CEO was on hand to review what this important announcement really means for freight.

Sir Peter when asked about customer service, provisions in the stations especially benches commented

As part of this journey Great British Railways (GBR) are going to have to learn what people need and address it; some of it is customer service, but it [provisions] does need improvement across all stations.


The discussion very soon came around to Freight and how railway freight had played a very great part during Covid. The question is: in the white paper what does GBR have planned for freight?

Sir Peter enthusiastically responded with

I think this is the cusp of a real opportunity. Activity of rail freight has been noticed and is such a good thing. The opportunity for more areas available for freight to use on the network will keep the business that has increased during the pandemic going. I am hoping this is the real good news from the white paper.

The discussion continued covering issues of culture in the GBR organisation, how to deal with the freight demand and the successfull evidence of electrification of the Scottish Railways, passenger reviews and long term strategic planning. Sir Peter again complimented the white paper suggestion that GBR is committed to a long term strategic plan.

Sir Peter closed the discussion with his thoughts

Some of you will think we don’t know the answers, it is a new organisation (GBR) but it will be coherent and it gives us a massive opportunity to get things right and we have a wonderful opportunity to work together. So let's stop what went wrong yesterday and make it better tomorrow.