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Rail fare reform inquiry launched by Lords Built Environment Committee

8 July 2021

On Tuesday 13 July, the House of Lords Built Environment Committee will be holding its first evidence session as part of its new short inquiry on the fare reforms proposed by the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.


At 9:30am the committee will hear from:

  • Barry Doe, Fares Consultant, Rail Magazine
  • Mark Smith, Fares Specialist, Man in Seat 61
  • Neil Middleton, Fares Specialist, Railfuture

This evidence session will be held remotely and streamed on Parliament TV.

Likely questions

Questions the committee is likely to ask include:

  • What are the key fare reforms set out in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail?
  • What are the challenges facing the financing of the railways?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of altering the fares and ticketing system?
  • New flexible season tickets have received criticism for not representing value for money compared with standard season tickets. How could these tickets be adapted to offer greater flexibility?
  • Where are examples of good practice abroad and at home on the efficiency of railways, the setting of fares, and the financial viability of rail travel?

Chair’s comments

Commenting on this new inquiry, Committee Chair Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG, said:

“The Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail represents the biggest shakeup of the railways in almost 30 years. Our inquiry will focus on the proposals for fare reforms and explore how changes could help attract more passengers.

“We will also consider the impact of the new system on finances and risk and explore topics such as flexible tickets, smart ticketing and the impact of COVID-19. We will then make our recommendations to Government.”

Further information