Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk, or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.

If you’re already booked on, joining instructions can be accessed from five working days before your conference via the booking dashboard. Need help? Contact us at delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

Next steps for reform of the UK rail system, and priorities for developing services and infrastructure

Morning, Tuesday, 14th September 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will examine the key priorities for rail services and infrastructure - against a backdrop of forthcoming and wide-ranging changes to rail governance and operations, as well as the evolving needs and behaviours of rail users.

It will be an opportunity to discuss next steps for reform to the UK rail system following the publication of the final report of the Williams Rail Review, which set out several recommendations, including the formal end of the rail franchising system, and set in motion the creation of a new body to govern the rail system, Great British Railways (GBR).

This conference will be a timely opportunity to discuss the review, which has been adopted by the Government as central policy, with proposals expected to begin to be implemented this year.

Delegates will discuss the practicalities and potential impact of implementation, as well as what will be needed to successfully meet the main policy aims, including:

  • simplifying the network and ticket purchasing process, and helping to cater for changing customer needs and preferences
  • replacing the franchising model with Passenger Service Contracts, with the aim of enhancing service delivery and efficiency across train operations
  • increasing accountability and reducing overlap and mismanagement across stakeholders

The agenda also looks at further relevant developments, such as:

  • increased funding announced in the Budget - and what steps can be taken to ensure this delivers infrastructure modernisation
  • the £749m recently announced by the Transport Secretary to boost rail links between the North and South - and how challenges for cross-region connections can be overcome
  • how the impact of COVID-19 on public transport and rail services might be mitigated in the short term and into the future - including strategies for attracting passengers back on to the network


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from BEIS; the Competition and Markets Authority; the Department for International Trade; the Department for Transport; the Government Legal Department; the Office of Rail and Road; and the Welsh Government. Also due to attend are representatives from AmcoGiffen; Bentley Systems; Dalmore Capital; High Speed 1; RMT Union; Scottish Accessible Transport Alliance; Shoosmiths; and Sopra Steria.

Press passes have been reserved by representatives from Construction News and The Times.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials from DfT, ORR and others involved in this area of public policy, together with a broad range of stakeholders including representatives from train operating companies, owning groups, freight operating companies, investment and legal professionals, transport and environmental consultancies, passenger groups, rolling stock manufacturers, engineering companies, Combined Mayoral Authorities, local authorities, academics and commentators, as well as reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference


Lord Berkeley

Co-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Rail

Jack Brereton MP

Vice Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Rail


Maggie Simpson

Director General, Rail Freight Group

Senior speaker confirmed from Burges Salmon

Neil Connor

Client Executive, Public Transport, Fujitsu

Mark Phillips

Chief Executive, RSSB; and Board Member, Transport for London

Anthony Smith

Chief Executive, Transport Focus

Max Sugarman

Public Affairs and Public Relations Director, Railway Industry Association

Andrew Meaney

Partner, Oxera

Mary Hewitt

Strategy and Policy Director, Arriva