West Yorkshire Combined Authority calls for rail investment

West Yorkshire Combined Authority calls for rail investment

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has called for "significant investment" in the North's rail infrastructure in its submission to a government-commissioned review.

The combined authority said the commissioning and operating rail services is not working for the region.

In its submission to the Williams Review, it has called for reforms to the railway framework which should put customers first.

The combined authority added that the rail system should be designed to support the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ programme of regeneration and provide a reliable, punctual and value for money service.

Cllr Judith Blake, West Yorkshire Combined Authority lead on transport and leader of Leeds City Council, said: "As recent months have demonstrated, the current system for operating the railway is not working for our region. Alongside significant investment in infrastructure, we urgently need a rail system that meets the needs of, and is accountable to, the North of England.

"It is vital that the Williams Review delivers the rail reforms that our region urgently requires and ensures that passengers are put first. We would welcome the opportunity to further contribute to the review and to help shape its recommendations."

The Williams Review, led by Keith Williams, was commissioned in 2018 to recommend the most appropriate organisational and commercial frameworks to support the government’s vision for the railway. The government is due to publish a White Paper in response to its recommendations in autumn 2019, with reform of the sector to begin in 2020.