During the 2010 election campaign the Bring Back British Rail’s first official e-petition (hosted on the Number 10 website), was temporarily closed to new signatures. Following the formation of the new government, the totally unfair and undemocratic decision was taken not to reopen the petition. The line being: ‘existing e-petitions, submitted to the previous administration, will not be carried forward to the new administration’.
The new administration has however finally responded to 2,060 signatures that were recorded on the petition with the following statement:
“The Government believes that the needs of passengers must be at the heart of the UK’s railway. The railway needs an infrastructure operator that is responsive to its customers, and able to deliver the best possible results for both operators of railway services and their users.
The Government is committed to reforming Network Rail and to making it properly accountable to its customers. Ministers are currently examining the structures and incentives of the industry to see how best to enable this. It is vital that Network Rail governance structures enable the company to work effectively on behalf of passengers, freight customers and wider industry stakeholders.
The Government’s priority is to support the economy by reducing the deficit. The railway network is vital to economic growth but funding is not unlimited. Therefore even more efficient ways of operating, maintaining and renewing the network must be found. Sir Roy McNulty’s Rail Value for Money study will examine options for improving value for money across the railway industry while maintaining or improving safety.
The Government has pledged to put fairness at the heart of its approach to rail fares. The Rail Value for Money study and the Association of Train Operating Companies’ review of fares are expected to provide valuable input going forward in the medium term.
Demand for rail travel between major British conurbations is expected to increase significantly over the next twenty to thirty years, and the Government is committed to establish a high-speed rail network as part of its ambitions for a low-carbon and eco-friendly economy.”
The Bring Back British Rail will now spend the summer planning new campaign strategies. If you have any good suggestions or would like to get actively involved, please do get in touch.