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Great British Railways Transition Team take first steps towards transforming our railways with launch of call for evidence

  • Great British Railways Transition Team launch call for evidence for Strategic Plan that will help provide clear long-term plans for the future of our railways
  • Following on from the ambitious Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, the call for evidence asks for views on how rail can boost the economy, level up the regions and deliver environmentally sustainable transport
  • Rail and transport industry and beyond, including business leaders, innovators, technologists, home builders, entrepreneurs and environmentalists are invited to take part in shaping first-of-its-kind future strategy for rail.

The transition team responsible for creating Great British Railways, the new public body that will run and plan the rail network, has today taken its first steps towards providing clear, long-term plans for transforming the railways with the launch of an eight week call for evidence to support a 30-year, Whole Industry Strategic Plan - and a better, simpler railway.

Announced two months ago by the Secretary of State for Transport to pave the way for the transition to the future of rail, the Great British Railways Transition Team (GBRTT) will be asking stakeholders to provide their views on how rail can contribute to five strategic objectives set by government.

Backed by the innovation and enterprise of the private sector, the call for evidence on the Strategic Plan will ask how the rail industry can play a part in boosting our economy, providing access to new jobs and opportunities and making the railways a keystone in the UK’s plans to build back better and greener.

By setting out those five objectives – meeting customers’ needs, delivering financial sustainability, contributing to long-term economic growth, levelling up & connectivity and delivering environmental sustainability – the call for evidence will help to play an instrumental role in setting the rail system map for the future and helping create a simpler, better railway for everyone in Britain.

Leader of the Great British Railways Transition Team, Andrew Haines said: 

“The Whole Industry Strategic Plan will help determine the future of the railway and we want it to be informed by as many different perspectives as possible, to learn from the lessons of the past and to meet the challenges of the future. We hope a wide range of organisations and experts, both inside and outside the rail industry, will respond to our call for evidence, to help us all make the most out of this opportunity to create a railway that truly delivers for all that use, service and depend on it. Together, we will create a simpler, better railway for everyone in Britain.”

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps said: 

“From dealing with the challenges of coronavirus to the decarbonising the sector – the rail landscape as we know it, is changing and we need to ensure our railways are able to keep up with the demands of modern life.

“I have tasked Great British Railways Transition Team to work with industry partners and beyond to create a 30-year plan that will ensure the railway develops to support our national priorities, whilst building on the reforms of the Williams-Shapps reform offering passengers a better deal and taxpayers better value for money.”

Experts from across the Rail and Transport industry and beyond have been invited to submit evidence to ensure this first-of-its-kind strategy will receive contributions from a wide range of stakeholders.

The call for evidence is now open here and will run until 4 February 2022.

Watch Andrew Haines introducing the Whole Industry Strategic Plan for Rail 'Call for Evidence':

Notes to editors

  1. Great British Railways will create a simpler, better railway, one that enables much closer collaboration and joint working with local leaders so it can serve the people of Britain and help deliver the government’s priorities.
  2. The Great British Railways Transition Team (GBRTT) was set up following the launch of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail White Paper to Parliament in May 2021, to give shape and develop proposals for a new body (Great British Railways) to deliver a simpler, better railway for everyone in Britain. The Williams-Shapps Plan envisages the biggest transformation of the railway in 30 years by developing a Strategic Plan for the whole industry to end fragmentation, run and plan the network, own the infrastructure, procure passenger services and set most fares and timetables. More information can be found at
  3. The Whole Industry Strategic Plan will be an outward looking strategy that will be shaped by a set of strategic objectives that have been developed by the UK Government for the benefit of rail passengers, freight users and taxpayers, and to support Britain’s economic, environmental and social ambitions. The five objectives - meeting customers’ needs, delivering financial sustainability, contributing to long-term economic growth, levelling up & connectivity, and delivering environmental sustainability – will be at the heart of the strategic plan, and these are being used to guide the questions in the call for evidence.
  4. The Whole Industry Strategic Plan will be a landmark resource, enabling the government to set a clear and unified direction for the railway in support of long-term priorities, assisting with problem solving, and aligning the rail sector behind a common vision and with joined-up decision making. GBR will be responsible for achieving the outcomes within the WISP, providing regular updates to Ministers on progress and adapting it to reflect changes in the economy, society and technology.
  5. Respondents are being asked to provide verifiable data and qualitative information to support their submissions. Answers that identify opportunities for prioritisation, efficiency and cost reductions, in order to drive value for money for taxpayers and rail users, will be particularly welcome.