Thameslink train

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EPA

Keith Williams, who’s heading a year-long evaluate of UK railways, has refused to rule out nationalisation as a doable suggestion to authorities.

Mr Williams is a deputy chairman of John Lewis Partnership and former chief government of British Airways.

“I’m unbiased, for me all choices are on the desk. I feel we should always take a look at all the things,” he informed the BBC.

“Our job is to provide you with a suggestion for presidency, of no matter persuasion, to take ahead.”

His evaluate was established to counsel essentially the most applicable organisational and business frameworks for the rail community.

Nonetheless, transport minister Chris Grayling doesn’t entertain the thought of nationalising the rail community, preferring the evaluate to “extra successfully steadiness private and non-private sector funding”.

Mr Williams’ findings and suggestions will likely be printed in a authorities White Paper in autumn 2019, with “reform of the sector” to start in 2020.

“What I see within the rail system is a lack of public confidence, a lack of public belief, and therefore the necessity for the evaluate, as a result of on the finish of the day the rail community works for the patron, the passenger,” Mr Williams mentioned.

“What does the passenger need out of the railway system, how we ship it, after which how can we really construction [the railway] to do this?”

He mentioned he didn’t wish to level the finger at who, or what, may be chargeable for the present unsatisfactory state of affairs, including that the rail system “has been flawed at quite a lot of ranges”.

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Getty Photographs

Picture caption

The introduction of recent timetables this yr induced chaos throughout the rail community

Mr Williams added: “There’s a measure of success within the railways. The variety of passengers has elevated, the funding has elevated considerably, however that is not resulting in larger passenger satisfaction.

“I see an acknowledgement of a necessity for change. Once I go and meet passengers, and events within the railway, what I see is a big ardour within the railway, and a consensus that one thing must be higher.”

He mentioned that Britain’s railways had an ideal historical past, however that the community now wanted to be match to fulfill the calls for of the 21st Century.

“My difficulty shouldn’t be across the previous, my difficulty is ensuring now we have one thing that works for passengers into the longer term,” he mentioned.

In addition to passenger satisfaction he mentioned the evaluate additionally had to take a look at the rail community in a broader context, together with financial and environmental points.

“It’s the engine of financial progress for the nation,” he mentioned.