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 call +44 (0)1344 864796.

If you’re already booked on, joining instructions can be accessed from five working days before your conference via the booking dashboard. Need help? You can contact our Delegate Relations team at delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk or by calling the above number.

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

Morning, Tuesday, 25th January 2022

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

This conference will examine key priorities for reforming the rail system in the UK, including the operation of its infrastructure and the delivery of services, in light of wide-ranging changes expected to rail governance and the evolving needs and behaviours of rail users.

It will be a timely opportunity to analyse key components of the significant reform put forward in the Williams Rail Review, such as the formal end to the rail franchising system and the creation of a new body, Great British Railways (GBR), to govern the rail system. Proposals from the Government for implementing the Review are expected later this year.

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

  • the scope of change needed to centralise strategic oversight and keep reform on track
  • simplifying the network and ticket purchasing process
  • further measures for catering to changing customer needs and preferences
  • replacing the franchising model with Passenger Service Contracts
  • increasing accountability and reducing overlap and mismanagement across stakeholders

We also expect discussion on:

  • infrastructure modernisation - the way forward and challenges for delivery
  • overcoming challenges for cross-region connections, including in rural areas
  • 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 the Competition and Markets AuthorityDefra; the Department for Transport; the Government Legal Department; the Office of Rail and RoadTransport for Wales; Transport Scotland; and the Welsh Government. Also due to attend are representatives from AmcoGiffen; Burges Salmon; Cambridgeshire County Council; Dalmore Capital; Grant Thornton UK; High Speed 1; RMT Union; Scottish Accessible Transport Alliance; Shoosmiths; Sitec Infrastructure Services; Sopra Steria; Trainline; and TSSA.

A press pass has been reserved by a representative from Construction News.

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 are 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

Keynote Speaker

Dan Brown

Director, Strategy and Policy, Office of Rail and Road

Keynote Speakers

Dan Brown

Director, Strategy and Policy, Office of Rail and Road

Mark Phillips

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


Lord Berkeley

Co-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Rail

Jack Brereton MP

Vice Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Rail


Professor Clive Roberts

Director, Birmingham Centre for Railway Research; and Professor of Railway Systems, University of Birmingham

Maggie Simpson

Director General, Rail Freight Group

Senior speaker confirmed from Burges Salmon

Andrew Summers

Strategic Director, Transport East

Malcolm Holmes

Executive Director, West Midlands Rail Executive

Neil Connor

Client Executive, Public Transport, Fujitsu

Sharon Hedges

Senior Stakeholder Manager, Transport Focus

Max Sugarman

Public Affairs and Public Relations Director, Railway Industry Association

Andrew Meaney

Partner, Oxera

Mary Hewitt

Strategy and Policy Director, Arriva