LGA submission to Williams Rail Review

Councils wish to see a successful rail industry that supports local growth and is properly connected with the fabric of local economies.


Many councils feel that the relationship between rail and local government should be stronger. With the changing local government landscape, councils continue to be very good at organising themselves to engage with national agencies, such as Network Rail and Highways England.

The Williams Rail Review provides an opportunity for improvements in the way local government and the rail industry can work together for benefit of passengers, local transport networks, and local economies as well as for tax-payers.

Key messages

Commercial models for the provision of rail services that prioritise the interests of passengers and taxpayers.

  • Councils' role in suburban rail and devolution

Rail industry structures that promote clear accountability and effective joint-working for both passengers and the freight sector.

  • The use of surplus rail land
  • The role of stations in wider regeneration projects
  • Improving stations
  • Entirely new stations
  • Funding from outside bodies
  • Crossing the railway
  • A rail sector with the agility to respond to future challenges and opportunities
  • Community engagement

The issues highlighted share a number of themes in common and a successfully operating rail industry would acknowledge these issues and seek to improve upon them in the following ways:

  • All parts of the rail industry engaging constructively with local government as partners
  • The rail industry and especially the owners and operators of stations and land assets to recognise and understand their role as place shapers
  • More effective outwards communication at all levels of the rail industry
  • More tolerance of a culture of risk and entrepreneurialism in non-safety focused areas of rail industry management

Read the full submission
LGA submission to Williams Rail Review