A. BRITAIN NEEDS
1. The Railway Development Society is an
independent lobby group promoting the Railfuture campaign for
better rail services. Railfuture wants to see a greater modal
switch of passengers and freight traffic from road to rail, and
a programme of improvements to the UK rail network to accommodate
2. Railfuture backs rail because it offers
a safer, more efficient and environmentally sustainable alternative
to the uncontrolled growth of motorised road transport. As a consumer
organisation Railfuture is an independent voice for rail users.
Railfuture also influences decision-makers to fund and provide
better rail services, and promote and encourage greater use of
3. Railfuture is promoting major investment
in and improvements to the national and local rail networks to
provide for the needs of inter-city, regional, local and commuter
passenger services, and also freight services. Railfuture believes
the greater use of rail is an important way to reduce air pollutin,
conserve fuel, reduce noise, tackle congestion and achieve a better
quality of life for many communities.
4. Railfuture wants improved access to the
rail network, through more efficient services serving new stations
and new routes. Trains can then carry more passengers and freight
faster and more safely, be accessible to all and able to provide
good, convenient services for a wide range of journeys.
5. Railfuture works to promote expansion
of the rail network and capacity for passenger and freight services
through re-opening disused or abandoned railway lines, restoring
stations and constructing new rail links where these are needed
to provide greater capacity and flexibility in the network.
6. Railfuture works to promote sustainable
land-use transport and planning policies at national, regional
and local levels that encourage the greater use of rail and public
transport, discourage unnecessary car or heavy goods vehicle use
and promote public transport, walking and cycling wherever possible
B. RAILWAY INVESTMENT
1. Railfuture believes that the Government
Transport Policy should prioritise investment in public transport
networks. Improving rail and complementary bus services will help
promote more sustainable transport modes and so reduce society's
reliance on cars. Investment in, and the co-ordination of, public
transport networks will bring about actual and perceived benefits
for the economy and bus and train passengers.
2. This additional investment sought from
both Government and the private sector operators should deliver
better services for all public transport users (rail and bus passengers)
also pedestrians and cyclists.
C. RAILWAYS AND
1. Railfuture works to promote integration
of rail services with all other transport modes, a fundamental
element in developing sustainable transport policies. National,
regional and Local Authority (LA) planning policies must anticipate
the need for, and promote, improved facilities for all sustainable
2. Railfuture believes planning policy must
promote changes in working practices and identify locations where
new development will minimise the need to travel, moving away
from the growth in low-density dispersed settlements in outer-suburban
or rural locations, often taking green-field sites, towards re-cycling
of "brown-field" sites, preferably close to existing,
or sites for potential new, railway stations.
3. A new approach to land-use and transport
planning policies is needed to ensure development is not focused
on road based locations, such as edge of town or motorway intersection
sites and so reduce the need for car travel. Development should
be guided towards rail served locations and higher density clusters
closer to town centres served by existing public transport networks
4. Wherever possible both business and housing
developments should be subject to "green" travel plans,
with Section 106 developer contributions directed towards public
transport schemes, particularly those enhancing rail facilities
and services, and supporting feeder bus services rather than simply
road based access schemes.
1. Railfuture wants to see the most appropriate
and effective use of railway resources, taking into consideration
demographic trends and planning needs, the environmental benefits
of freight on rail over road, public safety and commercial issues.
2. Access to the rail network must be improved,
not only through higher service frequencies on existing routes,
but also through the reopening of stations, freight only or abandoned
routes and, where appropriate, the construction of new stations,
freight depots and rail links.
3. Planning policy must measure and evaluate
the extent of long distance commuting by roadparticularly
on motorwaysand identify those trips where modal switch
may be encouraged and achieved, or whether the journey needs to
be made at all.
4. The planning process must influence retail
distribution logistics operations where centralisation has led
to many unnecessary road-freight transits, when even local produce
must go through central depots. As road and air freight movement
is relatively cheap, overseas products can often undercut home
5. Demand management is one tool that must
be considered, but limitations of the "is that journey really
necessary?" methodology is recognised. The Government must
review its plans to expand capacity on motorways and trunk roads
which should not proceed without first programming and funding
significantly higher levels of investment in rail and local bus
networks to increase their capacity.
E. CARS, NEW
1. Railfuture recognises the role cars play
in maintaining personal mobility, especially in rural communities
where public transport is often inadequate and distances travelled
may preclude cycling and walking.
2. Railfuture wants Government to promote
the sensible use of cars so that rail and public transport use
is at the heart of everyday life for most people living in urban
areas. Railfuture actively discourages long distance commuting
by road and, in particular, those trips where modal switch could
be achieved or the need for making the journey at all can be reasonably
3. Railfuture is concerned at the prospect
of any significant increase in new road construction. Where there
may be a case for improving road access or construction of a local
bypass, this must be part of a package that includes improved
access to local public transport and provision of better rail
and bus services.
F. PARK AND
1. Railfuture recognises that Park-and-Ride
schemes can play an important role in encouraging motorists to
switch to rail. Rail-based park and ride should be prioritised
over bus-based park and ride if possible. Schemes must be carefully
evaluated to ensure they support rather than undermine the efficacy
of existing local public transport services.
2. Park-and-Ride has a particularly important
role at both outer-suburban and rural stations that serve smaller
towns or dispersed communities. Park-and-Ride can be complemented
by demand based local bus or community transport networks as part
of rail-focussed local transport plans.
G. LIGHT RAIL
1. Railfuture supports the development light
rail schemes particularly where they complement existing rail
services. Light rail is clearly an effective way to encourage
motorists out of their cars. Where new light rail schemes are
promoted they should be fully integrated with the existing railway
system and other public transport networks, offering through ticketing
and timetabled connections.
2. Railfuture prefers retention of existing
railways, suitably electrified and controlled with modern management
systems rather than conversion to light rail. Where major benefits
can be shown, Railfuture does support light rail schemes that
replace lightly used conventional rail services, as demonstrated
3. New light rail routes should be built
notionally to track gauge and structural dimensions to permit
later conversion to conventional rail operation if traffic should
warrant conversion to a Metro type network.
4. Similarly the technology to permit light
rail on the Railtrack network should be developed to enable smaller
centres to work up light rail schemes using existing lightly trafficked
rail routes. This will allow light rail services to penetrate
town centres without requiring fully segregated operation from
conventional trains, following the German Karlsruhe model.
5. Where an existing route is converted
to light rail the capability for "through-running" from
the Railtrack network should be considered to maintain facilities
for freight movement, even if at limited times.
H. RAILWAYS AND
1. Railfuture recognises that buses are
a very important part of our public transport system. Buses should
be integrated wherever possible with rail services to provide
a "seamless" journey for public transport users.
2. Buses should "feed" into rail
services, over routes which will enable bus services to exploit
effective on-street bus priority measures. Bus and coach stations,
bus interchanges or stops should be conveniently located next
to railway stations. Train and bus timetables should be harmonised
3. Rail is a more effective mode for many
urban and suburban journeys and should be the preferred mode for
longer distances. Buses are not as successful as trains or trams
in tempting motorists out of their cars.
4. Railfuture campaigns against the permanent
replacement of trains with buses. Bus services should not be substituted
for rail as part of any planning or management policy.
5. When buses or coaches are substituted
for trains in exceptional circumstances, vehicles should have
as many of the qualities of trains as possible, such as facilities
for carrying cycles, and for longer journeys basic refreshment
facilities and lavatories.
6. Cross-Country coach services should be
routed wherever possible to maximise interchange with passenger
trains at railway stations, as well as other local bus services.
1. Railfuture supports Travelcard, Carnet
and Rover tickets that can be used on buses and trains within
local areas or regions over a time-span. Like through tickets,
these encourage greater use of public transport.
2. These multi-use tickets should be marketed
widely because of their flexibility, and also offer value for
money with significant discounts to passengers. All operators
must issue and accept through tickets.
3. Information about services, timetables
and fares must be readily available. Train and bus operators and
LAs must ensure timetables are easy to read and understand, and
displayed at stations and bus stops. Operators and LAs must also
ensure booklets are readily available, and web-sites regularly
J. A COMPREHENSIBLE
1. Railfuture campaigns for a simple, understandable,
easy-to-use national fares structure that encourages people to
use trains as a regular part of their daily lives.
2. Railfuture wants affordable fares for
walk-on passengers that are comparable with other networks in
Western Europe, demonstrating good value for money. Fares that
are as low as possible with generously discounted off-peak and
book-ahead tickets, will give rail a favourable image and encourage
3. Through tickets for journeys between
all stations of all rail systems, and between all modes and operators
should be readily available as part of an integrated network.
Supplementary or add-on fares should include all available discounts.
K. GUIDED BUSWAYS
1. Railfuture supports bus priority measures,
and busway schemes on existing roads or new routes, that provide
better public transport services to complement existing rail and
bus services. Guided busways on roads should only be considered
if rail or light rail schemes were not viable.
2. Railfuture does not support the conversion
of existing or former rail routes to busways. Rail must be given
prime consideration as the most effective means of achieving modal
switch from cars in the medium to longer term. Busway conversions
would also prevent further access for railfreight to the area
L. RAILWAY ELECTRIFICATION
1. Railfuture believes further electrification
of main lines and urban networks throughout the UK will bring
major improvements to services and the environment, as well as
a more modern image for railways.
2. Railfuture supports electrification as
in comparison to diesel, electric trains can provide an improved
passenger environment at stations and on trains, and a more pleasant
journey. Electric trains can be less polluting, lowering emissions
at the point of use, and are cheaper to operate in the longer
3. An electrification policy is needed firstly
to upgrade the "infill" routes, to link existing electric
lines and complete networks, so that operational gains and passenger
and environmental benefits may be quickly realised. Some minor
lines should also be electrified to develop local and regional
4. Railfuture argues that a policy to develop
electric urban networks with metro-style services will benefit
all users and make a major contribution towards traffic reduction
strategies in larger cities and conurbations.
M. RAIL FREIGHT
1. Railfuture works to promote the maximum
use of rail (and where appropriate water) transport for bulk and
long distance freight movement to reduce reliance on heavy lorries
(HGVs). Freight policy must promote modal transfer of freight
wagon or container loads from road haulage onto rail, or rail
and water for bulky or non-perishable goods.
2. Government policy must ensure railfreight
can play a fuller part in freight transportation and ensure a
"level playing field" exists between rail and road.
It is essential to identify and develop alternative approaches
to road haulage for intermediate distance freight movement. Enhancing
the existing, and providing additional, rail network capacity
for freight traffic is essential.
3. Route modernisation or upgrading programmes
must be versatile so that freight services can operate along with
passenger trains. Where possible these should be to the W10 European
standard, to accommodate international wagons, recommended by
the Railfreight Group (Railtrack proposes the smaller W9 Gauge).
4. Railfuture believes routes for developing
rail-borne Channel Tunnel traffic such as via Tonbridge, Redhill,
Reading and Oxford to the Midlands and beyond should be upgraded
at the earliest opportunity to expand capacity and achieve significant
modal switch for international goods movement from road transport.
N. RAIL FREIGHT
1. Road haulage is a fundamental component
of modern logistics but Railfuture believes that rail freight
does not currently fulfil its potential in moving goods that are
predominantly handled in lorry-loads.
2. Heavy lorry use is excessive and there
is considerable potential to transfer goods traffic to rail. Increased
investment in road-rail transfer facilities and the development
of "piggy-pack" road-rail goods distribution systems
could transfer more freight traffic to rail.
3. Railfuture believes the Government must
actively promote better enforcement of regulations on road-worthiness
and overloading of vehicles as well as speeding, drivers hours
and other safety matters.
1. Railfuture supports policies to promote
rail as a prime mover in international travel within Europe. Railfuture
wants a fully integrated European rail network that competes effectively
with air travel where international trains can serve both London
and specific provincial centres.
2. European Governments should promote more
sustainable alternatives to internal air services and short haul
routes into Europe by promoting and developing the European High-speed
rail network within the UK.
3. Railfuture believes journeys less than
500 kilometres should be made by rail wherever possible, rather
than by air. This is because of the high environmental cost of
short-haul air travel in relation to the distance covered. Railfuture
supports the call for airline fuel costs to reflect more accurately
the pollution aircraft causes.
4. Rail access to ports and airports should
be improved, enabling growth in passenger numbers using these
facilities to be accommodated on public transport.
5. Rail should be the main distribution
network for international sea-borne container based traffic wherever
possible and international wagon and trainload freight movement
should be actively promoted.
P. RAIL SAFETY
1. Railfuture believes Britain's railways
can deliver high performance safely, as well as being the safest
means of travel. Railfuture wants a high standard of protection
for passengers both in terms of operational and personal safety
and the prevention of accidents.
2. Railfuture supports measures to make
the UK rail network safer for passengers at a realistic cost.
Experience has shown modern trains with integrally constructed
carriages are durable and robust. Any extra costs of implementing
network-wide safety systems like Automatic Train Protection (ATP)
and Train Protection Warning System (TPWS) should be met jointly
by Government, Railtrack and train operators.
3. Railfuture believes potential for driver
error should be minimised through effective staff training and
industry regulations that ensure rail operators are fully accountable
and co-operative when dealing with safety issues, and that procedures
are coherent and transparent.
4. Any costs of implementing safety measures
should not be passed on to fares, as increases would deter people
from travelling by rail. Station safety with increased staffing,
improved lighting and help points form an essential part of the
secure station concept which demonstrably generates fare revenue.
Q. ACCESS FOR
1. Railfuture believes the importance of
safe and secure facilities for pedestrians and cyclists using
rail cannot be underestimated. Safe facilities to improve access
for passengers with mobility impairments also benefit all passengers.
All stations should have secure storage for cycles, where possible
under cover or monitored by CCTV.
2. Trains should provide sufficient space
to meet the reasonable needs of all passengers, whether accompanied
by luggage, a wheelchair or bicycle. Operators should provide
improved facilities and wherever possible operate longer trains
to meet the needs and demands of all customers.
3. Cyclists are an important business market
for rail operators. Railfuture argues cyclists should not need
to book a place for a cycle or pay an extra charge to take it
on a train. People who need to take their cycles on trains regularly
should be able to obtain a national or regional pass for carrying
them at peak hours.