The Chair suggested that simplifying ticketing would encourage passengers back to rail and highlighted the need for rail to be seen as good value. He also recommended a flexible ticketing model to achieve this goal. Leeds City Council leader, Judith Blake, echoed this sentiment and emphasised the need to respond to industry insiders' reluctance to look at fare reductions as a way to restore passenger confidence.
David Hoggarth, the TfN Strategic Rail Director, referred to the paper as a 'roadmap to recovery,' and emphasised the importance of building demand and patronage backup for long-term sustainability. He noted that significant government funding is currently being used to keep services running, but stressed that it is crucial for rail to be seen as reliable and offer good connectivity, easy access, a quality product, and good value for money.
The Rail North Committee meeting on January 12 discussed the potential for Transport for the North to take an active role in shaping the post-pandemic development of the sector, and presented a roadmap to recovery. This meeting was a crucial event for the UK rail sector.
At the meeting, Councillor Liam Robinson, the Rail North Committee Chair, suggested a phased approach to deeper devolution, enabling more local decision-making and ensuring that the rail system meets the needs of local people and businesses.
The Recovery of Demand theme concerns how to quickly increase rail services and the need for a plan to achieve this goal. The pandemic has significantly impacted demand for rail services, and rebuilding passenger confidence and demand will take time.
The Rebuilding Confidence theme addresses the need to plan communications and promotions that encourage people to return to rail. Negative press coverage during the pandemic has hit the rail industry hard, and it is vital to restore public trust in the sector.
The Fares and Ticketing theme focuses on meeting passenger needs, including providing flexible season tickets, pay-as-you-go options, and bank card payment methods. This will enable passengers to choose the most convenient and affordable way to use the rail system.
Improved Performance is another critical theme, ensuring that current performance improvements are maintained while services are reduced. It is crucial to maintain resilient timetables that can be supported by the infrastructure, even as services are scaled back up.
Sustainable Growth is also a key theme, promoting the use of rail, particularly among car drivers during the morning peak. This will help reduce congestion on the roads and improve air quality, a vital goal for sustainable transport.
Finally, Investment is necessary to put the railway on a more sustainable long-term footing. This involves investing in infrastructure and ticketing to make rail a more attractive and viable transport option.
Leeds City Council leader, Judith Blake, supported this suggestion and emphasised the need to address the reluctance of industry insiders to consider fare reductions to restore passenger confidence. Meanwhile, David Hoggarth, the Strategic Rail Director for TfN, described the paper as a 'roadmap to recovery' and stressed the importance of building demand and patronage backup for the long-term sustainability of the rail system. He also emphasised the need for rail to be reliable, provide good connectivity and easy access, offer a quality product, and be perceived as good value for money. The Rail North Committee meeting on January 12 was a critical event for the UK rail sector, where potential Transport for the North's involvement in shaping the post-pandemic development of the sector was discussed, and a roadmap to recovery was presented.
During the meeting, Councillor Liam Robinson, the Chair of the Rail North Committee, suggested a phased approach to deeper devolution. This approach would enable more local decision-making and ensure that the rail system meets the needs of local people and businesses. The Chair also proposed simplifying ticketing to encourage passengers to return to rail, highlighting the importance of perceiving rail as good value.
Councillor Liam Robinson, the Chair of the Rail North Committee, suggested a phased approach to deeper devolution during the meeting. This approach would enable more local decision-making and ensure that the rail system meets the needs of local people and businesses.
During the meeting on January 12, influential figures in the UK rail sector discussed its future in a momentous event held by the Rail North Committee. One of the main topics of discussion was the potential for Transport for the North (TfN) to shape the post-pandemic development of the sector, as outlined in a paper produced by TfN. The paper presented TfN's contributions to the Williams Review and the role it can play in supporting local authorities with their ambitions, covering six key themes: Recovery of demand, Rebuilding confidence, Fares and ticketing, Improved performance, Sustainable growth, and Investment.