Call for evidence: the Reform of the Railways

13 March 2012

The Transport Committee requests submissions to its inquiry into Reform of the Railways.

The Transport Committee has decided to hold an inquiry into reform of the railways. This will take account of, but not be limited to, the report by Sir Roy McNulty on improving efficiency in the rail industry and the Government’s proposals for reform, fares and decentralisation published on 8 March 2012.

The issues which the Committee will examine include those set out below and written submissions are invited:

  1. What should be the Government’s vision for the railways in 2020, taking account of likely spending constraints? How should the balance be struck between the taxpayer and the farepayer in paying for the railway?
  2. How are the targeted efficiency savings (£3.5bn by 2019 on a 2008/09 base) to be delivered? What will be the consequences?
  3. Will the reforms to rail franchises proposed by the Government, including alliances, deliver better services at lower costs?
  4. How should fares and ticketing be reformed?
  5. What are the implications of the proposals for rail decentralisation and how should responsibilities be devolved to local authorities?

The Committee intends to hold the first oral evidence sessions in June and July. It will hold further sessions in the Autumn, after the Government has published its High Level Output Specification (HLOS) for the railways in July. There will be an opportunity to submit further written evidence at this point.

We would be grateful to receive written submissions by Wednesday 18 April 2012.

Note for editors

The documents referred to in the call for evidence are: DfT, Realising the Potential of GB Rail: Report of the Rail Value for Money Study, May 2011; Reform of our Railways: Putting the Customer First, Cm 8313, March 2012; DfT, Rail Fares and Ticketing Review: Initial Consultation, March 2012; and DfT Rail Decentralisation, March 2012.

Notes on the submission of written evidence

It assists the Committee if those submitting written evidence adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Written submissions should be as short as is consistent with conveying the relevant information. As a rough guide, it is helpful if they can be confined to six pages or less. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference. A summary of the main points at the start of the submission is also helpful.
  2. Evidence should be submitted by e-mail to in Word or Rich Text format, with as little use of colour and images as possible. If you wish to submit written evidence to the Committee in another format you must contact a member of staff to discuss this. The body of the e-mail should include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. It should be absolutely clear who the submission is from, particularly whether it is on behalf of an organisation or in the name of an individual.
  3. Once accepted by the Committee, written evidence becomes the Committee’s property and it may decide to publish it or make other public use of it. If the Committee decides to accept your contribution as evidence we will email you formally accepting it as such. You may publicise or publish your submission yourself, once you receive the formal acceptance of your evidence to the Committee. When doing so, please indicate that it has been submitted to the Committee.
  4. The Committee aims to publish the majority of written evidence that is received, but some submissions will be placed in the Parliamentary Archives for public inspection rather than being printed or published online. If you do not wish your submission to be made public, you must clearly say so, and should contact a member of staff to discuss this. Though the Committee is happy to receive copies of published material or correspondence sent to other parties, formal submissions of evidence should be original work produced for the Committee and not published elsewhere.
  5. Committee staff are happy to give more detailed guidance on giving evidence to a select committee, or further advice on any aspect of the Committee’s work, by phone or e-mail.

Additional information on submitting evidence to a Select Committee is available online in the House of Commons Guide to Witnesses (PDF PDF 1.25 MB).

Image: iStockphoto 

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