Grayling steams ahead in our estimations

With the news that the Government is to try a visionary new combined model of track and train provision, the Adam Smith Institute releases a welcoming comment from Head of Research Ben Southwood. 

This proposal is remarkably similar to one that Ben Southwood has examined before. You can read his words on this subject here.

In response to today's announcement he says:

"The government’s plan to try out a new combined model of track and train provision is visionary. 

“The franchising system has been an effective part of privatisation, which led to huge improvements in the UK rail system, but it has key problems in the bidding process, and it requires continual government investment injections. We are now ready for the next step.

“Britain’s railways were built privately under the track and train model, and it was government that mothballed half the lines. Now we can again build a globally renowned network by a return to unified private control. This is not pie-in-the-sky thinking. In fact this exact system is what powers Japan’s famously advanced system.

“However, we’ll only get a network that operates well if every moving part works. Ticket prices on new lines must not be over-regulated, planning rules on expansion must be light, and new lines should not require government approval at every juncture. If we do this correctly, we will see private capital flow into the infrastructure we so badly need, not just between Oxford, Cambridge, and Milton Keynes, but right across the UK’s nations and regions.”

To arrange an interview, or further comment, please contact Matt Kilcoyne (, 07584778207).