Great British Railways Legislation Deferred

The legislation required to create the new Great British Railways organisation has been deferred, Modern Railways wrote yesterday.

Although many of the commitments set out in the William-Shapps Plan for Rail do not require legislation in order to bring into effect (for example new flexible season tickets, stations accessibility audits, cutting time and costs of infrastructure works via Project SPEED, developing a 30-year whole industry strategic plan) primary legislation is needed to deliver key elements of structural reform, which importantly includes providing Great British Railways with the powers and authority it needs to act as a single guiding mind for railways, ending years of fragmentation.

The reason for this deferral, as we understand it, is the need for the Government to prioritise emergency legislation in response to the cost of living and energy price situation. We understand this to be the case even though a consultation on the proposed legislation ran very recently, from 9 June to 4 August.

The Transport Bill may still proceed, but without the rail reform parts, given other aspects of the Bill are likely to remain a government priority. The DFT's official statement is as follows:

  • We remain committed to reforming our railways, improving journeys for passengers and creating a better, more modern UK rail industry.
  • Further detail on the timing of DfT’s planned legislation on rail reform and the Future of Transport will be confirmed in due course. We will take forward legislation when Parliamentary time allows.


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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