A Liberal Democrat Government will radically overhaul Network Rail, the body that oversees the rail network, to put the interests of passengers first and make it more accountable and transparent. This includes refunding passengers who are forced on to rail replacement buses a third of the fare.
In a major speech to the Campaign for Better Transport tonight, Liberal Democrat Shadow Transport Secretary, Norman Baker will call for Network Rail’s executives to be replaced with a ‘Public Interest Board’ made up of representatives of customer watchdog Passenger Focus, the Local Government Association and independent experts. He will also set out plans to make the body subject to Freedom of Information requests.
Commenting, Norman Baker said:
“Train passengers have been given a raw deal from Network Rail, which is completely unaccountable and pays far too little attention to their needs.
“It is disappointing that the Government has done nothing to put this right.
“The Liberal Democrats would put passengers at the heart of the rail network by creating a system that puts their interests first.
“Key to this is reforming Network Rail, as well as reopening railway lines and stations, speeding up the electrification of the network and the delivery of new trains and carriages.”