The Government is committed to bringing forward vital sector-wide reforms and commissioned Keith Williams to carry out the first root and branch review of the rail industry in a generation. In the Williams Rail Review, he has made a number of recommendations which Ministers are currently considering.
The review was in its final stages at the outbreak of COVID-19 and the Government views the purpose of the reforms as important as ever. Ministers are therefore taking the impact of the pandemic into account when deciding on next steps.
A white paper with details on plans for rail reform, including the ongoing role for community rail partnerships, will be published once the course of the pandemic becomes clearer. The Department for Transport hope to be able to update members further at the upcoming Community Rail Conference – 16 March.