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Committee to take evidence on the Williams-Shapps plan for rail

24 May 2021

The foreword to the Department for Transport bills the Williams-Shapps Plan for rail as the ‘biggest change to the railways in 25 years.’

On Wednesday May 26, the Transport Committee will hear directly from Keith Williams, architect of the Rail Review, and the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps MP. They’ll be joined by key commentators in a one-off session to consider the Government’s vision and plans to deliver better rail services across Britain.

Following the chaotic rollout of the national timetable change in May 2018, the predecessor Transport Committee concluded that the crisis was partly due to the ‘astonishing complexity’ of a fragmented railway which failed to cope with the scale of the changes. The Committee said it should be the catalyst for genuine change’ for everyone who relies on the railway.

Several years later and during a time of profound impact from a pandemic, MPs will consider what the Government’s White Paper will mean for rail sector and passengers.


Wednesday 26 May 2021

At 9.30am:

  • Nigel Harris, Managing Editor, Rail (magazine)

At 10am:

  • Sir Peter Hendy, Chair, Network Rail

  • Andy Bagnall, Director General, Rail Delivery Group.

At 11am:

  • Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State, Department for Transport

  • Keith Williams, Chair, Williams Rail Review

  • Conrad Bailey, Director General for Rail Strategy and Services, Department for Transport

Please note that Parliament has stopped all non-essential visitor access to both Houses due to the circumstances around coronavirus. The session will be available to watch online, and a transcript will be published on the website a few days afterwards.

Further information

  • The Department for Transport’s policy paper, Great British Railways: Williams-Shapps plan for rail, is here

  • The Committee’s December 2018 report: Rail timetable changes: May 2018

Image: Crown Copyright and Parliamentary Copyright