Britain’s railway hasn’t delivered for passengers or taxpayers for a long time. It’s too expensive and money leaks out; services have deteriorated; it’s out of control and unaccountable; and there is no structure to manage the whole system strategically. In short, the railway has lost sight of what it is for. I believe the railway must be run with the public interest as its clear and overriding primary objective. It must also support a vibrant economy and a thriving society while supporting climate stabilisation and a healthy local environment. Labour’s vision is for a railway that enables everyone to travel easily and affordably right across Britain, as part of a completely accessible and sustainable transport system, fully connected with buses, trams and other public transport: a railway fit to tackle the Climate Emergency. This Shadow Rail White Paper contains the detailed structural changes we believe the railway needs to make in order to come together as a coherent system once again. It also sets out a bold agenda for addressing fares reform and ensuring a strong passenger and employee voice in the direction of the railway. Very significant work has gone into this White Paper over many years and I hope it will be regarded as a serious contribution to the rail policy debate as we embark on a period of industry and political transition. I also hope activists, Labour Party and trade union members use the document as they campaign in their communities and constituencies. It has been a privilege to serve as Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary for nearly four years. I am hugely proud of the rail policy development work undertaken by my team in that time in consultation with senior figures from the rail industry and trade unions. I’d particularly like to thank Dr Ian Taylor for his immense contribution to this policy document.
Andy McDonald MP Shadow Secretary of State for Transport