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Railfuture in the news

Railfuture is frequently quoted by the media in newspapers, transport magazines, online and on radio and television.

Below are some recent examples of Railfuture being reported. If you know of any we've missed, then email media at railfuture.org.uk with details.



2019


8th December - Huffington Post

In an article examining Labour's proposal to reduce rail fares, Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted:

“We would naturally prefer investment be made into railways than into roads. After all, with the climate emergency, rail transport is a very environmentally friendly form of transport, much more so than road transport. It seems madness to be building roads and reducing the cost of motoring, which will only increase pollution from road vehicles.”

7th December - The Mirror

The headline reads: "Christmas rail passengers to pay double for services taking up to THREE TIMES longer. Operators are ditching cheap advance tickets while bringing more misery because of engineering work". Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “If the ­service is slower, ­passengers would want to pay lower fares.”

4th December - The Times

With a long series of strikes affecting passengers on South Western Railway, there are calls for refunds for season ticket holders. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “You can see the case for season ticket holders receiving a lump sum. They bought their ticket almost a year ago on the promise of a service being available all year round and it isn’t.”

3rd December - talkRADIO again!

Following on from the previous day's interview where the topic of fuel duty came up, the station takes the unprecedented decision to invite back Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson for a longer discussion on the subject. Listen here or download here.

A clip of the interview is posted on talkRADIO's twitter account.

2nd December - talkRADIO again

Ongoing strikes on South Western and Labour's proposal for fare reductions are in the news, so for the second time in the day Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is called upon to comment. Listen here or download here.

2nd December - talkRADIO

The rail industry has announced its fares for next year, with an average rise of 2.7%. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson gives Railfuture's view on James Max's business breakfast. Listen here or download here.

23rd November - LBC

The Conservatives are proposing a change in the law to limit strikes in the rail industry. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited to comment. Listen here or download here.

22nd November - BBC News website

TransPennine Express has launched a new £500m fleet of trains. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson welcomed the news, saying "Overcrowding has been a problem across the network and we welcome any new investment and increased capacity."

22nd November - talkRADIO

South Western Railway is still threatened with lengthy strikes throughout December, and the Labour manifesto includes some proposals for rail. What is the reaction of Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson? Listen here or download here.

21st November - BBC Radio London

There's public concern about the level of overcrowding on the Tube following a number of recent incidents. Railfuture director Roger Blake appears on the drive time show to give his perspective. Listen here or download here.

17th November - Stroud News & Journal

Under the title "This is the real age of the train", director of Business West Gloucestershire Ian Mean gives a write up to Railfuture Severnside's campaign meeting to discuss the re-opening of the Stonehouse(Bristol Road) station, which was closed post the Beeching axe.

"It would be easy to dismiss this sort of rail campaign as the focus of some ageing rail anoraks steeped in the past. I believe this would be very shortsighted - especially in Stroud and the Five Valleys where train connection to Bristol is abysmal" he writes.

14th November - BBC News website

Troubles continue on the Northern franchise with over half of all services running late. A spokesman for Railfuture is quoted: "What makes matters worse is when Northern cancels service it is often on the routes where there is only one train an hour, which means you are even later"

14th November - BBC Midlands Today

Railfuture West Midlands spokesman Colin Major appears on the BBC Midlands Today evening news from Kidderminster station to talk about what Railfuture means by a "bigger better railway", and what we want from the political parties.



12th November - BBC Radio Gloucestershire

Severnside branch is launching a campaign to reopen the second station in Stonehouse, which would allow direct services to Bristol. The story is picked up by BBC Radio Gloucestershire, who feature it during their morning news bulletins. Listen here or download here.

11th November - Telegraph

Record numbers of people are taking trains over planes to get from London to Scotland as a "flight shaming" movement urges travellers to cut their carbon footprint.

"Bruce Williamson, from the campaign group Railfuture, told The Telegraph: "People are feeling more guilty about flying generally, and, of course, the London to Scotland trains are electric, and therefore clean and green.

"It's a very environmentally-friendly way of travelling."

Mr Williamson said the likes of Extinction Rebellion and Thunberg - who sailed from Britain to New York in an emissions-free yacht earlier this year - have helped to trigger a change in travel habits. "

5th November - Railway Technology

In August the Rail Delivery Group announced it would no longer sell Eurail passes, but after heavy criticism, it backed down the next day. Railfuture chairman Chris Page contributes to the analysis of the decision:

“Interrail and Eurail are managed by the same organisation. But Interrail is for European citizens, and Eurail is for people from outside Europe coming to visit in Europe. As the two schemes present similar deals – including coverage, pass duration and prices – it soon emerged that the two could be merged into one solution for all. Eurail Group wanted to combine the passes, but that meant that BritRail – which is for citizens from outside the UK, visiting Britain – effectively would get undercut”

5th November - talkRADIO

The RMT is calling 27 days of strikes on South Western in the ongoing dispute over the role of guards. Eamonn Holmes talks to Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson. Listen here or download here.

The next day it's the turn of Julia Hartley-Brewer on the talkRADIO breakfast show. Listen here or download here.

3rd November - Metro

Engineering works over the Christmas period prompt the usual press headlines about "travel chaos". Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: "It’s impossible to do works without disrupting and inconveniencing passengers, who don’t like bus replacement services. The railways have suffered decades of under-investment, so we’re now playing catch-up. Works have got to be done some time, so lines and stations can cope with higher passenger levels."

The same story also appears in The Mirror

31st October - BBC Radio Humberside

It is no longer possible to book seats on TransPennine Express because of overcrowding and drunkenness. Yorkshire branch chair Nina Smith is interviewed on the drive time programme. Listen here or download here.

21st October - BBC Radio Derby

MEMRAP campaigns for re-instatement of 12 miles of rail between Rowsley and Buxton, and is supported by Railfuture. Campaign co-founder Stephen Chaytow appears on the breakfast show and in numerous news bulletins to talk about the campaign, and even manages to give Railfuture a plug. Listen here or download here.

21st October - talkRADIO

There are calls for compensation for passengers still forced to travel on the much-unloved Pacers. Railfuture director Roger Blake is interviewed on talkRADIO to discuss. Listen here or download here.

18th October - talkRADIO

The Northern franchise looks set to be renationalised. What are the implications for the rest of the network and the franchising model? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on James Max's early business programme to discuss. Listen here or download here.

13th October - City A.M.

The government looks set to scrap the rail franchising model. Although the details are yet to emerge, Railfuture offers a cautious welcome, with spokesman Bruce Williamson quoted as saying: “We have for some time been an advocate for a change to the franchise system, because it’s been clear for a long time that it’s not working. We’ve been an advocate for a concession model for some time, but we’ll just have to wait and see what Boris Johnson comes out with. The devil is in the detail.”

9th October - Shropshire Star

The paper reports that Railfuture has organised a public meeting where passengers can grill representatives of Transport for Wales and West Midlands Rail Executive. Dr Stephen Wright, chairman of West Midlands branch, is quoted: “We have chosen Shrewsbury as our venue as it is the railway hub for a large cross-border area of The Marches and we are concerned that proposals for future services do not reflect the needs of the local communities."

26th September - CPRE members journal

Thames Valley branch secretary Andrew McCallum, who is also vice chariman of the Betjeman Society, has a letter published: "Sir John would, I am sure, have been alarmed by the prospect of the Ox-Cam Expressway and the harm it will bring to swathes of countryside. I am equally sure he would have approved of the scheme to reopen the old 'Varsity Line' between Oxford and Cambridge"

21st September - BBC Radio Bristol

Stephen Brookes MBE, the chair of Railfuture's annual conference in Bristol, appears on the breakfast show to give a preview of the conference and discuss some of the issues on the agenda. Listen here or download here.

19th September - BBC News website

New tram trains for the South Wales Metro will not have toilets, creating problems for some passengers. Railfuture Wales chairman Peter Kingsbury is quoted: "We're happy there will be improvements at stations but expecting people to travel without toilets for an hour is concerning. Experience shows station lavatories can be readily vandalised, as many stations will continue not to have staff. The answer to this in the past is to lock the toilets."

22nd August - talkRADIO

Some train operating companies have failed to implement a rule change which would result in lower penalty fares. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson comments. Listen here or download here.

15th August - talkRADIO

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on James Max's Business Breakfast to discuss rail fare rises and the award of the WCML franchise to First/Trenitalia. Listen here or download here.

14th August - Rail fare increases

July's inflation figures are released, setting the level of January's fare increases, and Railfuture is heard on the breakfast shows of LBC (listen here) and talkRADIO (listen here), BBC Radio Bristol (listen here), and in the news bulletins of Forth 1 (listen here) and BBC Radio Five Live (listen here).

Railfuture director Roger Blake is interviewed by LBC radio and ITV for Good Morning Britain

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted on the front page of The Guardian “It might be that we’ve now reached the point where we cannot simply put fares up and expect passengers to take the hit. They will just give up and refuse to pay. They will either find another job or another form of transport.”

Similar quotes appear in the Times, Independent, Metro, Scotsman, Daily Mail, Daily Record and many more titles.

The Financial Times said: "Bruce Williamson, spokesperson for RailFuture (sic), a campaign group, said the government has insisted on using RPI as a benchmark for rail fares. “They love RPI because it is higher than CPI,” he said, adding that continuing to use RPI is “not fair and not sustainable”."

The Telegraph says: "Meanwhile, the campaign group Railfuture warned that faced with ever-increasing fares passengers may soon reach the point where “they will just give up and refuse to pay”. "

14th August - BBC News website

"Welsh trains: 'No answer' down the track to overcrowding" is the story, as the new rail operator for Wales hasn't had much immediate impact on the quality of rail services. "Railfuture, which campaigns for better rail services, said TfW was "attempting to offer a service but with the rolling stock that they have available it's very difficult for them to offer a service at the moment that is 100% reliable"."

14th August - BBC Radio Oxford

Richard Stow, chairman of Thames Valley branch, appears on the breakfast show along with local councillor Yvonne Constance to talk about the possibility of line and station reopenings in Oxfordshlre. Listen here or download here.

He later appears on the BBC One regional evening news.

14th August - ITN

Ann Hindley of Lincolnshire branch appears on the 6.30 and 10pm bulletins talking about fare rises and Pacers.

9th August - talkRADIO

In the light of the Rail Delivery Group's climbdown over its decision to pull out of Interrail, Railfuture's Chris Fribbins is invited onto Julia Hartley-Brewer's breakfast show to discuss. Listen here or download here.

8th August - talkRADIO

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited to comment on the Rail Delivery Group's decision to pull out of the Interrail scheme. Within a few hours, the decision is reversed. Coincidence? Listen here or download here.

8th August - The Herald

Heavy rainfall in many parts of Scotland has caused major disruption to the rail network. Railfuture gets a mention: "It has raised concerns from Railfuture, the better rail services campaign group that the issues illustrated "the lack of resilience of the rail network" and how the nation is able to cope with climate change."

5th August - The Mirror

"Train fat cats receive £1.2 billion in share payouts as rail network crumbles" is the headline, as the paper runs a story critical of the rolling stock companies' profits. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is extensively quoted, although out of context to support the thrust of the story. He said:

“This is what you get for privatisation and involving private companies who want to make a profit. It plays badly to the public who perceive rail travel as expensive. Clearly we would always ask for investment in the railways which have suffered from under-investment for decades. It is overpopulated with outdated rolling stock and track. Passengers might look at this and not see the money going into investment. It fuels the argument for nationalisation of the railways in the eye of the passenger. I can understand why passengers seeing these sorts of figures would feel like that. It prompts the question of whether there is effective competition in the rolling stock market.”

22nd July - talkRADIO

£100 million of delay repay compensation is going unclaimed. What does Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson think should be done to improve this? Listen here or download here.

17th July - Witney Gazette

Richard Stow, chair of Thames Valley branch, has a letter published critical of West Oxfordshire district council's decision not to press for restoration of an Oxford to Witney rail link. He writes "Rail is 21st century technology, and forward looking politicians of any hue had better start to recognise that."

1st July - talkRADIO

Network Rail is considering buying out the part of British Steel which makes rails. Is this a good idea? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited on to the early business programme to discuss. Listen here or download here.

20th June - talkRADIO

Strikes have hit South Western this week in the ongoing dispute over the role of guards on trains. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on Julia Harley-Brewer's breakfast show to review some issues which are very familiar. Listen here or download here.

11th June - talkRADIO

Virgin is proposing to launch an open access service to compete with the West Coast main line. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed on the breakfast show. Listen here or download here.

4th June - North East Times

The article highlights the risk of the North East region being left out of future rail developments. Dennis Fancett of North East branch is quoted: “We strongly support the call from the Northern Powerhouse MPs for rail investment for the North to be given the same priority as HS2 .... we are concerned that even Northern Powerhouse Rail tends to concentrate predominantly on the Leeds-Manchester corridor and overlooks the North East,”

31st May - ITV Yorkshire

Nina Smith of Yorkshire branch was interviewed on the local news programme Calendar. Both the Greater Manchester and Merseyside mayors have demanded that Arriva be stripped of the Northern rail franchise. Nina argued that the blame for Northern's problems lay mostly with the Department for Transport.

20th May - talkRADIO

Today's rush hour will be the first test of the new timetable which was introduced yesterday. Has the industry learned the lessons from last year's fiasco? And will HS2 be scrapped, as Boris Johnson, a known opponent of HS2, becomes the frontrunner to take over from Theresa May? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed. Listen here or download here.

18th May - BBC Somerset

On the day of GWR's last scheduled HST service from Paddington to the West Country, breakfast show host Simon Parkin talks to Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson, who also appears in the news bulletins. Listen here or download here.

6th May - Northamptonshire Telegraph

A bench has been unveiled at Corby station in memory of Railfuture member Jim Wade, who campaigned for the station to be re-opened. Steve Jones, secretary of the East Midlands branch, is quoted: “Jim was a founding member of the Corby rail campaign in the early 1980s and was a long standing member of Railfuture. The opening of the new station in 2009 was the culmination of many years of campaigning and might never have happened without Jim’s passion and dedication."

6th May - talkRADIO

Newspaper reports claim that hundreds of drivers are on the payroll for Crossrail, even though the project has been repeatedly delayed and completion is still two years away. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed. Listen here or download here. talkRADIO posted a clip of the interview on their Twitter account.

2nd May - Eastern Daily Press

The headline is: "No reservations on new trains to capital for up to six months". The introduction of new trains means that it will not be possible to reserve a seat during the transition period, as the new and old trains have different seating reservation systems.

"Chris Burton from Rail Future (sic), which campaigns for a better passenger and freight network, said: “It's a recipe for confusion between now and the future.” And he added that he thought it would “annoy” people."

24th April - talkRADIO

Virgin wants to make its services reservation-only, so that no-one stands. Is this workable? Eamonn Holmes interviews Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson. Listen here or download here.

18th April - talkRADIO

Easter engineering works include the complete closure of Euston and more. Presenter Mike Graham gives the rail industry a hard time and Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson speaks for the defence. Listen here or download here.

11th April - The Star

The awarding of the new East Midlands franchise to Abellio has led Clive Betts MP to question whether they can deliver improvements. Andrew Dyson, secretary of Yorkshire branch, is quoted: “We knew there were going to be new trains, as this was specified as part of the bidding process, but it’s welcome this is actually happening. We expected the existing franchise would be extended by another year, so the fact they’re able to get on with it and order the trains means hopefully we will see them in service sooner than we would have otherwise."

Railfuture East Midlands chairwoman Ariadne Tampion gets quoted too: “The existing franchisee is definitely one of the better ones, when you look at passengers’ experiences with the likes of Northern and Southern, but it has some blind spots. One particular bugbear has been the idea that everybody wants to go to London and all the other stations are just a source, which can make it hard to go for a night out in other cities because the last train home is too early.”

10th April - BBC Radio Lincolnshire

Abellio will be the new franchisee for the East Midlands. Lincolnshire branch chair David Harby gives his assessment of what improvements we can expect to see. Listen here or download here.

10th April - LBC London News

Virgin/Stagecoach has been disqualified from bidding for any new franchises, so the Virgin brand will disappear from the railways in a year's time. What does this mean for passengers? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson has some of the answers. Listen here or download here.

10th April - Northamptonshire Telegraph

"Memorial bench for dedicated Corby rail campaigner" is the headline, the campaigner being Jim Wade, who died in March last year aged 75.

Steve Jones, secretary of the East Midlands branch, is quoted: “Jim had a lifelong interest in railways. On his first day at Rockingham Road Infants School in 1947 he played truant to watch the trains from the nearby railway bridge. He did the same on his second day but was apprehended and as he put it “was brought into compliance with the education system!” "

10th April - Telegraph

Paper tickets are heading for the way out as nine in ten rail journeys will be available via smartphone tickets by the end of the month, according to the paper.

"Previously campaign group Railfuture has warned that elderly people, who do not have smartphones and will still buy tickets in stations, face paying higher fares than those who have adopted the new technology. It is feared that the number of paper ticket users dwindle they could be forced to pay a premium to cover the overheads associated with buying paper tickets, such as the cost of running ticket machines, printing and paying station staff."

1st April - The i

There are varying success rates in passengers' claims for delay compensation, with the paper describing it as "a postcode lottery". Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “We need a simple set of rules and procedures that are common across train companies.”

The story is also picked up by The Scotsman and the Halifax Courier: "Nina Smith, of the Yorkshire branch of the campaign group Railfuture, said numbers seeking compensation remained low because many passengers were unaware of their rights or believed it was not worth their time to claim."

19th March - BBC Somerset

The Go-op cooperative is proposing a new open access service from Somerset to Nuneaton. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is heard giving a cautious welcome to these proposals. Listen here or download here.

17th March - Daily Mail

"Fury as passengers miss out on £20million payout for Easter rail shutdowns as train firms rake in compensation for engineering works that will shut down major routes" fumes the paper, going on to quote Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson: "Passengers will be frustrated and feel they have a case for discounted fares."

8th March - Cambridge News

This article provides an update on the Wisbech rail campaign. "Railfuture, who spearheaded the campaign, believes strongly the reinstatement of the railway and town centre station, which closed to passengers in 1968, would help regenerate the town and improve residents' quality of life."

It quotes Chris Burton of East Anglia branch: "We have been lobbying for the reinstatement of the railway for 20 years or more. We leafleted the area and there was a great deal of support for it."But now we need someone in Government to say 'this is the plan.' We are just waiting to see what transport secretary Chris Grayling is going to do. We have met him and everyone has spoken to him. It's still very much on the cards - it's not blue sky."

27th February - talkRADIO

A report by a group of MPs says that lessons have not been learned from last year's timetable fiasco and that this year might be just as bad. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is asked how badly the railways are run. Listen here or download here.

The interview is featured in a news page on the talkRADIO website.

25th February - BBC Somerset

A local authority feasibility study will consider the case for reinstating trains to Shepton Mallet. Is this a goer? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the breakfast show. Listen here or download here.

18th February - BBC Radio Bristol

The Rail Delivery Group wants to overhaul the ticketing system to make it easier for passengers to get the best deals. BBC Radio Bristol invite Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson onto Claire Cavanagh's afternoon show to say what it might mean for train travellers locally, including those of GWR, who declined to appear on the programme. Listen here or download here.

10th February - The Sun

The tabloid comments on the disparity between payments made by Network Rail to train operators for delays, and the amount paid to passengers. "SNOW UNFARE Fury as train firms get £180million compensation for snow and other disruption — but pass on just £81m to users" is the headline. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “There’s the important question of what proportion of this money goes to passengers.”

25th January - talkRADIO

A new report claims that rail travel is causing passengers to suffer from stress. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto the morning show to put a more positive spin on the state of the nation's railways. Listen here or download here

21st January - Modern Railways

Steve Jones of East Midlands branch has a letter published in the magazine, supporting the idea of a new service between Liverpool and Leicester. He writes; "Such a service would be a major advance in addressing the present limited connectivity between the East Midlands and the North West, something that Railfuture has been seeking to address for many years."

18th January - North West Evening Mail

"A local MP and heritage railway company have won a prestigious award for their DIY train service on the Lakes Line. " reads the article which picks up on our press release. It pictures Railfuture director Roger Blake and MP Tim Farron alongside Pat Marshall, director of West Coast railways, receiving Railfuture's RUG award for the "Lakelander" service which was put on last summer when Northern's services collapsed.

The story is also covered on the news websites Cumbria Crack, RailBusinessDaily and on the ITV news website.

5th January - Yorkshire Evening Post

Nina Smith, chair of Yorkshire branch, writes an opinion piece on the recent fare increases. She says "We need both affordable fares and a much better and integrated public transport system, including a tram system for Leeds and Bradford. That's a win-win, including for those who have to use the roads as there would be less congestion."

2nd January - Fare rises

This year's 3.1% hike generates much media coverage, with Railfuture being involved in a lot of it.

Railfuture director Roger Blake appears on Sky News
Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on:
BBC Radio Five Live Listen here or download here,
BBC Radio Kent Listen here or download here,
BBC Radio Bristol Listen here or download here,
talkRADIO Listen here or download here and
Jack FM Oxfordshire Listen here or download here.

A clip from the talkRADIO interview is posted on their Twitter account.

Our comment about "a kick in the wallet" is quoted in the headlines of BBC news bulletins, including the 6pm news on BBC1 and Radio 4.

In the press, Railfuture is quoted in the Mirror, Daily Mail, Telegraph, Scotsman, Daily Star, iNews and Metro as well as many local papers and the websites of Sky, ITV and BBC news

1st January - Edinburgh Evening News

"Anger at great train ‘rip-off’ as punctuality falls and passengers face fares hike"

The paper picks up on our press release, quoting Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson in a story about tomorrow's rail fare increase: “After a terrible year of timetable chaos, passengers are being rewarded with yet another kick in the wallet.”




2018


27th December - talkRADIO

New punctuality figures are released today, and not surprisingly they're not great reading for the rail industry. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto the lunchtime programme to discuss. Listen here or download here.

A few hours later he talks about the same issue on Clive Bull's programme on LBC. Listen here or download here.

23rd December - BBC News website

"Passengers heading in and out of Wales around Christmas and new year face huge disruption as the multi-billion pound upgrade of the UK railways continue" says the article, before quoting Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson:

"Some are saying it's the worst Christmas period for train passengers, but it's a case of short-term pain for long-term gain as this isn't just maintenance, the railway network is having a significant upgrade."

18th December - Surrey Advertiser

The paper reports on local disruption to rail services over the Christmas period: "Railfuture, an independent organisation that campaigns for better rail services, said it was difficult for Network Rail to find a time to undertake works that would not result in passengers being inconvenienced."

A spokesman is quoted: "In these situations one always has to ask the question: When else do people seriously suggest that the railway can realistically be closed for essential maintenance or improvement works? In a modern 'always-on' 24/7 21st-century society people are always going to and from work, leaving for and returning from holidays."

18th December - Cambridge News

"Demand for new entrance to Cambridge train station to slash traffic" is the story, and that demand comes from Railfuture East Anglia, who are calling for a new Eastern entrance to relieve congestion for the 12 million people who use the station every year. “Railfuture argues for urgently drawing up a Master Plan for the area to the eastern side of Cambridge Railway station to secure a second entrance to the station. It recognises the traffic congestion and air pollution problems arising from the total reliance on the Western entrance, which despite recent steps to improve passenger facilities and flows, is becoming overwhelmed by the continuing growth in passenger numbers” is the quotation from a spokesman.

The same story is picked up by the Cambridge Independent two days later, with Railfuture being extensively quoted.

Railfuture's proposals can be downloaded here.

16th December - Scottish Sun

Under the headline "TRAVEL HELL Scotland faces Christmas travel chaos with ‘perfect storm’ of road, rail and air disruption", a reoprt on the level of engineering works over the Christmas period, Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “A huge chunk is being taken out of the rail timetable this Christmas. Passenger numbers are lower than during normal working weeks, so Christmas is the least bad time to do the work.”

His exact same words appear the next day in a similar article in the Sunday Express.

11th December - Scotsman

The paper reported that an employer has stated that he won't hire anyone who commutes by train, because of ScotRail's unreliability. In response, Railfuture Scotland's Jane Ann Liston writes a comment piece for the paper, under the headline "Why it’s wrong to refuse to employ staff who travel by train"

10th December - talkRADIO

Further strikes are planned on South Western Railway services over the Christmas period. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson wakes up very early to discuss this and other issues on James Max's early breakfast show. Listen here or download here.

9th December - Telegraph

"Christmas rail passengers facing perfect storm of delays and disruption" says the paper. "Bruce Williamson, of campaign group Railfuture, said that he was hopeful that the latest timetable changes would not be too disruptive as they are fairly modest."

He is quoted: “There is always a risk. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Undoubtedly rail users have had a difficult year. The strikes are regrettable as this is still a dispute about guards and this is an issue that has been resolved on other franchises. Why is it persisting in these regions? There is clearly a solution. This is frustrating, annoying and inconvenient for passengers.”

9th December - Sunday People

The headline is "Commuters face Christmas travel hell as many train networks introduce new timetables", and Railfuture gets a brief mention as spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: “The timetable change should go smoother than it did in May, but nothing is guaranteed.”

3rd December - Western Mail

John Rogers, president of Railfuture Cymru, has a letter published on the subject of fare increases. "Ho ho ho, it’s that time of year again: rail fare increases announced. Cue passenger shock, horror and justifiable anger... " he writes, before going on to challenge the oft-quoted justification that these increases pay for investment.

2nd December - talkRADIO (twice!)

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed on the breakfast show about the new year fare increases. Listen here or download here.

TalkRADIO can't get enough of us, because just two hours later, it's the turn of Railfuture director Roger Blake. Listen here or download here.

30th November - The Mirror

Under the headline "UK 'rip-off' rail fares to soar again in 'another kick in teeth to commuters'" Railfuture gets a brief mention. We're quoted as saying: "People are being priced out of going to work."

30th November - Cambridge Independent

An updated version of a previous news story is published. The title is "Campaigners want to reopen forgotten Cambridgeshire railway stations, but could it be done?" and it continues: "Railfuture East Anglia chair Peter Wakefield said the current single track could allow only one commuter train every hour from Newmarket, but if the line were double-tracked it could support a lot more services."

He is quoted: "A lot of things are happening with rail nationwide, but we need to make sure Cambridgeshire keeps up. The new mayor's office might well be a big ?step forward. People from King's Lynn, Wisbech and places all around could get to Cambridge station and then we just need to get them that last mile across the city. That way people would leave their car behind. Because new trains are coming online for London services, there will be thousands of spaces that could serve a huge demand at this end of the route."

30th November - BBC Essex

Chris Burton from East Anglia branch is interviewed on a slightly dodgy phone line on the drive time programme about January's 3.1% fare increases. Listen here or download here.

30th November - BBC Radio Wales

Confirmation of January's rail fare increases prompts much public outcry, including from Railfuture, who continue to make the case for RPI not CPI. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the drive time programme. Listen here or download here.

30th November - BBC Radio Suffolk

Phil Smart from East Anglia branch is interviewed on the drive time programme about January's 3.1% fare increases. Listen here or download here.

28th November - talkRADIO

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto the morning programme to talk about the new ombudsman, leaves on the line and extortionate fares. Listen here or download here.

His comments are used in a news article on the talkRADIO web site.

27th November - Love Sport Radio

A new ombudsman can now resolve disputes between passengers and the rail industry. Will this make an difference? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson talks to Kelvin Mackenzie about this on Love Sport Radio as well as talking about refunds and train reliability. Listen here or download here.

24th November - Scottish Sun

"SCOTFAIL Bungling ScotRail bosses are failing to deliver dozens of promises made when they took over our trains" is the headline, before the paper goes on to quote Jane Ann Liston of Railfuture Scotland: “Several of the more serious missed targets, as the report acknowledges, are dependent upon Network Rail or a third party.”

15th November - Oxford Times

The paper reports on campaigners' plans for transport improvements in the county.

Richard Stow, chairman of Thames Valley branch, argues for rail to be prioritised and is quoted: "The opening of a rail link from Witney to Oxford and Cowley would not only create huge economic benefits, but also provide a strategic transport link in the event of catastrophic failures of the A40, which single or dual, remains the only link from our district to Oxford."

14th November - Scotsman

Railfuture Scotland's Jane Ann Liston writes an opinion piece arguing that nationalising Scotland's railways wouldn't necessarily end commuter misery.

"The increased number of cancelled ScotRail trains has, perhaps unsurprisingly, seen calls for renationalisation grow louder....Railfuture Scotland is not opposed to state ownership of the industry but recognises that it is no panacea. The old British Rail, so fondly remembered albeit selectively, also suffered from cancellations and its punctuality was a butt of humour almost as much as its catering."

13th November - Hastings and St Leonards Observer

The paper reports on the local winner of Railfuture's RUG awards.

"National campaign group Railfuture has awarded its ‘Best Campaign Award’ to the Hastings and Rother Rail Users’ Alliance (HRRUA) for its campaign whch led to more trains running... The Alliance negotiated with Govia Thameslink Railway an innovative timetable solution – ‘The Eastbourne Overlap’ – to the proposed split of the through Brighton-Ashford hourly two-car diesel service at Hastings in May."

18th October - BBC Radio Wales

After a Hitachi train ripped down a stretch of overhead line equipment, there were major delays and cancellations on the Great Western main line. How will this affect the ongoing electrification programme? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto the breakfast programme to discuss. Listen here or download here.

15th October - BBC Radio Wales

Today marks the start of the new rail franchise for Wales. Many improvements are promised, but what will it mean for the Welsh rail traveller? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the morning show to explain. Listen here or download here.

14th October - BBC radio and TV

Virgin Trains and Stagecoach have come in for much criticism after it emerged that they shared in £51.2m worth of dividends from the West Coast main line railway, shortly before walking away from another franchise.

BBC One evening news covers the story and includes comment from Railfuture's Roger Blake.


BBC News Channel interviews Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson on the subject. Listen to an audio recording of the interview here or download here.

His comments are then used in news bulletins on Radio 2, BBC 6 Music and on the BBC local radio network. Listen here or download here.

12th October - LBC

Mick Cash of the RMT union is reportedly paid more than the prime minister. Should we be concerned about this? Nick Ferrari talks to Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson on the breakfast show. Listen here or download here.

11th October - Yorkshire Post

Nina Smith, chair of Yorkshire branch, gets a letter published under the title "Wake-up call for action on climate change – and congestion". She writes:

"This week’s UN Climate Change report must be a wake-up call to governments, corporate bodies and individuals. What more can be done to tackle climate change? Transport policy is a key factor in stopping the ruination of our planet. It is critical that both Government policies, and those being developed by Transport for the North and local authorities, recognise this" before listing a whole series of policy changes that Railfuture would like to see.

11th October - BBC Radio Norfolk

Reclaiming lost property may cost you a hefty fee, and train operating companies have come under fire for taking money directly out of people's wallets and purses. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the breakfast show to comment. Listen here or download here.

10th October - BBC Radio Scotland

Scotrail is inheriting some Inter-City 125s from the Great Western main line. Will this be a good thing? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson offers his opinion. Listen here or download here.

His comments are later quoted on a BBC News online article.

He appears on the BBC evening news programme Reporting Scotland.


9th October - Forth 1

Scotrail has had to withdraw its new Hitachi trains because of an unspecified technical fault. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on daytime news bulletins to comment. Listen here or download here.

2nd October - Love Sport Radio

Chris Grayling has promised a "one click" solution to make delay repay easier. Kelvin MacKenzie talks to Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson to find out whether this is as good as it sounds. Listen here or download here.

28th September - Financial Times

The paper reports that many potential delay repay claimants are missing out. Could new apps help to increase the number? "Bruce Williamson, a spokesman for the independent passenger group Railfuture, said a confusing ticketing system was mirrored by a wide range of delay compensation rules used by different train operators." reads the article, before quoting him: “There needs to be a national standard. Why should it be different from line to line?”

21st September - BBC Radio Kent

A new report from the RAC suggests that the public is falling out of love with public transport. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson talks to Lembit Opik on the morning show to put the case for rail. Listen here or download here.

20th September - Daily Express

‘Chris Grayling is ultimately responsible for rail chaos,’ says commuter group. That's the headline, and that commuter group is Railfuture, as the paper writes an article largely based on an interview with Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson. He is quoted as saying, amongst other things:

“When it comes to the major disruption we saw in May and June, I agree with their (the ORR's) analysis - everybody had a part to play. Chris Grayling has tried to pass the buck here but the fact is he is at the top of the pyramid and if it isn’t his responsibility, what is the point of his job?”

20th September - BBC Three Counties Radio

The Office of Road and Rail has published its report into the Thameslink/Northern timetable fiasco. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto the breakfast show to offer his perspective. Listen here or download here.

Later the same day he appears on national digital station talkRADIO to cover the same topic. Listen here or download here.

18th September - Metro

"Worst train delays for 12 years" is the headline, as the paper reports on the release of punctuality figures. "Bruce Williamson, of passenger group Rail Future, said blame for the timetable problems had to go ‘right to the top’. He added: ‘There was no excuse for it. It was bad planning and blame has to go to Chris Grayling and the Department of Transport.’"

13th September - ITV Granada Reports

Northern will be improving the terms of its delay repay scheme so that compensation can be claimed if the train is 15 minutes late instead of 30. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the regional evening news programme to give this a cautious welcome.

4th September - Love Sport Radio

Labour has launched a national rail campaign, reiterating its commitment to renationalisation and releasing some figures on punctuality and overcrowding. Railfuture director Roger Blake is invited onto Kelvin Mackenzie's programme to discuss this and other rail issues. Listen here or download here.

1st September - talkRADIO

Another interview about the delays to Crossrail as Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed on the breakfast show. Listen here or download here.

31st August - LBC

The opening of the central section of Crossrail has been delayed by a year. This seems to be yet another example of the railways being badly managed, so is renationalisation the answer? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed alongside Conservative politician Keith Prince, who sits on the transport committee of the London Assembly. Listen here or download here.

31st August - Bromsgrove Standard

"West Midlands Railfuture boss joins calls for Cross Country services to stop in Bromsgrove" reads the headline, as the paper reports on Railfuture's submission to the Cross Country franchise consultation. Dr Stephen Wright from West Midlands branch is quoted:

“It’s excellent Bromsgrove now has a regular and frequent service to Birmingham stations, but the service southwards is woefully inadequate, just one train an hour to Worcester, Malvern and Hereford – and frequently heavily over-subscribed. Getting beyond to Cheltenham, Gloucester or Bristol needs a change at Worcester and with only one train every two hours. Newport and Cardiff are a little better, changing at Hereford, although there can be lengthy waits there for connections. What we want now are direct trains to the South West."

24th August - Modern Railways

The September edition of the magazine contains Roger Ford's Informed Sources column, as usual. He says "Perhaps another BR veteran, Ian Brown, writing in the Railfuture magazine has got it right. ‘It seems that everyone was so invested financially and reputationally in the May 2018 timetable, and all that it represented for stakeholders, that ‘group-think’ set in. With no-one daring to challenge the project other than to claim mitigation was possible to whatever new risk or problem emerged, the project team sleep-walked to disaster’."

Ian Brown's article can be read here.

22nd August - BBC Radio Gloucestershire

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears in the morning news bulletins, then is interviewed live on the breakfast show about fares, disruption and inflation. Listen here or download here.

18th August - BBC Radio 4

Steve Boulding of West Midlands branch phones in to Any Answers. Whilst choosing to speak in a personal capacity, he gives Railfuture a plug, and his comments about the fragmentation of the industry are consistent with those made by official Railfuture spokespeople. Listen here or download here.

18th August - BBC Radio Shropshire

Colin Major of Railfuture's West Midlands branch appears on the breakfast show to discuss how passengers will be affected by the closure of Euston station. Listen here or download here.

16th August - The Mirror

The paper picks up on our press release: "Pressure group Railfuture claimed passengers are treated like “second-class citizens compared to motorists”."

It goes on to quote Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson: “We’ll easily have the most expensive fares in Europe, yet the Government continues to freeze fuel duty for motorists. Why the double standard?”

The press release is also quoted in the Express, Evening Standard, Metro, the Aberdeen Evening Express and on Sky News, Yahoo! News and BT.com.

16th August - Western Mail

Railfuture Cymru's chairman John Rogers has a letter published in the light of inflation figures which will result in fare rises in the new year. Under the heading "Do rail fare rises just benefit shareholders?" he asks: "Is it the case, then, that the Tory (Westminster) Government is merely boosting shareholders’ dividends by these savage, annual fare rises?"

15th August - BBC Essex

Chris Burton from East Anglia branch appears on the drive time show on the eve of the announcement of July's inflation figures. What are the alternatives to using RPI?
Listen here or download here.

He later gave an interview on Cambridge Community Radio.

15th August - Bauer radio network

Rail fare rises feature on the breakfast news bulletins on the group's Scottish stations, including soundbites from Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson.

14th August - BBC South East Today

Railfuture director Roger Blake appears on the BBC South East Today evening news on 14th August 2018 to support Maria Caulfield MP's idea of forwarding complaints on to Southern and Network Rail.


14th August - talkRADIO

Early risers hear Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson comment on prospective fare increases on the very early breakfast show. Listen here or download here.

14th August - The Herald

"Rail fares are increasing twice as fast as wages, new analysis shows" reads the headline, before going on to quote Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson: “For many people, the reality is that British rail transport is hideously expensive and set to get worse.”

13th August - BBC Radio Wales

Early estimates of July's inflation figures predict RPI at 3.5%, which will be the figure used for next January's fare increases. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the drive time show to argue that this is unfair to passengers. Listen here or download here.

10th August - BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

Tile Hill station has insufficient parking, and there are plans to double the capacity of the car park. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited on to the breakfast show to discuss. Listen here or download here.

1st August - Love Sport Radio

Robert Nisbet, director of the Rail Delivery Group, has claimed that UK trains are the envy of Europe. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson speaks to Kelvin MacKenzie about whether there is any truth in this idea. Listen here or download here.

31st July - Evening Standard

Responding to a recent article highlighting the levels of overcrowding on London commuter routes, Railfuture director Roger Blake has a letter published. He writes: "Continuing high levels of demand, despite recent dips on routes in some areas, must be met with continuing high levels of investment in trains and track. That is what is needed to beat unacceptable crowding and to improve overall quality."

30th July - BBC News Channel

Railfuture director Roger Blake appears on the BBC News Channel to talk about Northern Rail reinstating some of its previously abandoned timetable changes.


29th July - Daily Mail

The Mail tries to put the blame on train drivers for some of the recent problems on the railways. Responding to suggestions by the Rail Delivery Group that there was no shortage of drivers, Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson said: "There is a shortage of drivers. Whatever the networks say, we know this is the case. We pay the highest rail fares in Europe and we certainly don't get the best service for that. If you are cutting human resources to the bone then that will have an impact."

The same story appears in the Sun and the Express.

27th July - BBC Radio Cornwall

GWR has come in for some criticism over the holiday period as passengers have to endure overcrowding and sweltering conditions. Railfuture's Nigel Bray, secretary of Severnside branch, is invited onto the breakfast show to offer his opinion. Listen here or download here.

24th July - talkRADIO and BBC locals

New passenger statistics list the top ten most overcrowded lines on Britain's railways. Railfuture director Roger Blake has a busy day being interviewed on six different radio stations about this issue:

20th July - talkRADIO

Things have got so bad on the railways that the government is considering a meeting of the emergency COBRA committee. Is this really necessary? Railfuture's Chris Fribbins is the man to ask. Listen here or download here.

16th July - BBC Radio Wales

GWR cancelled many services to South Wales on Sunday, citing reasons such as school holidays, hot weather and the World Cup. How do these excuses stand up to scrutiny? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited on to the breakfast show to discuss. Listen here or download here.

This story also appears on the BBC News website and Bruce is quoted: "It's understandable passengers get very upset when there's a poor service like this."

12th July - Cambridge Independent

Six weeks after the Govia Thameslink timetable meltdown story first hit the news, it's still making waves in Cambridgeshire. An interim timetable is being introduced from 15th July, and local MP Heidi Allen has written to Govia Thameslink Railway claiming that the situation is “reaching danger point”.

Railfuture is quoted twice in the article. Vice-chair of East Anglia Branch, Christopher Burton, is quoted: “In more than 45 years of personal railway interest I cannot recall timetable disruption on such a profound scale. British Rail sometimes generated slightly overambitious schedules on certain routes, or suffered from traction shortcomingssaid that in a stakeholder meeting on Tuesday evening Govia Thameslink confirmed that they have enough drivers with the right route knowledge to run the service from Monday July 16., but never the sheer disarray at Thameslink or indeed with Northern Rail where the position is at least as bad, but for slightly different reasons.”

Chairman Nick Dibben also has his say: “The problem previously was the ability to match drivers and trains at the start of the new timetable due to last minute changes made to the timetable by Network Rail,” he said. “Over the next few months, additional peak hour trains will be added when practical to do so. The weekend timetable is affected by planned engineering works so passengers urged to check each weekend. The December 2018 timetable change is being reviewed nationally as there are far more changes planned than intended in May 2018. GTR hope to add more of the off-peak trains intended for this May in December.”

9th July - BBC Radio Lincolnshire

The breakfast show is talking about reopening stations. Is this a good idea? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson thinks so. Listen here or download here.

8th July - BBC News website

New performance figures for Arriva Trains Wales show an increase in the number of complaints. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted "It's disappointing when customer service is not up to scratch. With some of the problems we've been experiencing on the railway the train operating companies can, with some legitimacy, pass the buck and say it's someone else's fault. But when it comes to basic customer service, like replying to complaints, that's totally within Arriva's hands and there's no excuse for that."

The quote is then picked up by the Wales Online website.

7th July - Uckfield News

The paper reports on the Uckfield Festival Big Day. Railfuture is a regular exhibitor, and there's a photo of Railfuture director Roger Blake manning the stall along with Dick Tyler from the Sussex and Coastway division.

2nd July - South Wales Echo

Newly installed overhead line equipment in the Severn tunnel has started rusting. Paul Harding of Railfuture Cymru / Wales is quoted:

“Passengers and taxpayers are not going to be happy that equipment installed less than two years ago is already rusting. Passengers have faced months of inconvenience with diversions and line closures due to the electrification programme and it looks as though there’ll be much more disruption before the benefits even begin to be felt. There are lessons for the whole rail industry here about planning, construction and procurement. Hopefully these lessons can be learnt before electrification of the core valleys lines begin.”

26th June - inews

"This is why UK trains can’t handle a heatwave" is the headline as the hot weather forces many trains to go slow. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted:

“Network Rail will periodically tweak the tension on the rails – you have a summer tension for hot weather and a winter tension for cold weather. When the temperatures rise, Network Rail cuts the rail and rewelds it to make sure it’s the correct tension for the temperature range expected – a heatwave takes it out of that zone. If Network Rail feels there’s a danger of the tracks buckling, it puts speed restrictions on trains to avoid the risk of derailment. The slower the train goes the less disruption there is to the track,”

24th June - BBC Radio Devon

Many GWR services were cancelled on the day England played in the world cup. Coincidence? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson talks about some of the causes of the problems. Listen here or download here.

24th June - talkRADIO

The first ever service of the new LNER arrived on time. Does the failure of Virgin/Stagecoach mean that renationalisation is the way forward? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the very early breakfast show to discuss. Listen here or download here.

11th June - Love Sport Radio

Another interview about the recent chaos on the railways. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson discusses some of the causes of the problems, and whether renationalisation might improve things. Listen here or download here.

11th June - talkRADIO

For the second time in the day, Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the station to talk about the chaos on the railway. He talks to James Whale and his sidekick Ash in a long and not entirely serious interview. Listen here or download here.

11th June - talkRADIO

Mike Graham and Katie Perrior interview Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson about the causes and solutions to the recent chaos on the railway. Listen here or download here.

11th June - The Guardian

Columnist John Harris argues for more devolution of railway management to help cure some of the industry's ills. He took some advice from Railfuture and writes: "I spent a lot of last week discussing potential solutions with people from pressure groups such as Railfuture (which wants “bigger, better railway that people are proud and pleased to use”) and the Campaign for Better Transport. I heard about the endless drawbacks of train franchising: the way that its bidding system emphasises squeezing costs and raising prices, and the fact that deals that tend to last for around eight years combine with the increasingly short cycles of politics to ensure that long-term thinking is always in short supply."

9th June - BBC News channel

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is interviewed about Mark Carne's CBE in the light of Network Rail's recent poor performance.

On the same day, he is quoted in The Times on the same subject: “It seems slightly at odds to be making an award for good service at a time when things are going so badly for the railway.”

7th June - Scotsman

"How commuting every day negatively affects your health and wellbeing" is the headline. The article says:

"Chris Hyomes, Director of Communications at Railfuture, a UK advocacy group that promotes better rail services for passengers and freight, explains that public transport needs to be made more attractive so that people want to use it. “More people are commuting today more than ever”, he says, adding that with this, commuters have the “stress of getting to work on time”. As a commuter himself, Mr Hyomes believes that rail travel at the moment is completely unacceptable: “We’re being forced out of public transport and with train fares going up every year, users are not getting value for money.”"

The same article also appears in many local papers.

7th June - Lincolnshire Reporter

Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh writes a regular column for the paper. He says:

"Regular readers of this site will have seen that I have been actively engaged with the various ideas and issues around local rail services.

The return of regular services to Gainsborough Central later this year is a good example of steps in the right direction. I am committed to pressing the case for direct rail links from the Humber south bank to London. This could include a stop at Market Rasen and I will be pressing my case with the Transport Secretary, now that the East Coast service is being brought back into public ownership and as progress is made to re-franchise the East Coast Main Line.

I have also been very interested in suggestions from the local branch of Railfuture about a rail-based part and ride scheme, centred on Lincoln. This could lead to the return of a station at Langworth or the addition of a station at Cherry Willingham."

5th June - Western Mail

Railfuture Cymru president John Rogers has a letter published. "I would like to congratulate our government on the new deal for Welsh railways" he writes, before outlining some of the improvements he would like to see, and arguing for greater devolution of rail,

4th June - BBC Local Radio

In addition to the timetable chaos on Northern and Govia Thameslink, the Rail Delivery Group is opening a consultation on rail ticket reform, but without changing the overall level of fares. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited on to the breakfast shows of several BBC local radio stations. You can hear him make the same comments in slightly different orders on:

2nd June - LoveSport Radio

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on this London station. You can guess what he's talking about. Listen here or download here.

1st June - BBC Two

Disruption caused by the introduction of new timetables is the story that just won't go away. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the Victoria Derbyshire programme and helps to explain what the problem is.


A clip from the programme is posted on the show's Twitter pageTweet of photo of Bruce Williamson on the BBc's Victoria Derbyshire programme describing timetable chaos as a .

31st May - BBC Sussex

A petition calling for Govia Thameslink Railway to have its contract immediately removed has received thousands of signatures, because of its ongoing problems with the new timetables. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears on the breakfast show to offer his perspective. Listen here or download here.

25th May - The Lincolnite

Edward Leigh MP is backing plans by Railfuture's Lincolnshire branch for a rail-based park and ride system. He said: “Railfuture Lincolnshire is right to be stirring up debate on the future of rail services in the county......I would certainly like to see proposals brought forward for a rail-based park and ride scheme, perhaps with a new station at Cherry Willingham or seeing if former infrastructure, like Langworth, could be brought back into use.”

24th May - talkRADIO

The new welsh rail franchise has been awarded to a consortium including SNCF. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto the early breakfast show to discuss this, along with privatisation, competition, Thameslink and more. Listen here or download here.

21st May - talkRADIO

New timetables have led to disruption on the railways, particularly Thameslink. Eamonn Holmes and Saira Khan discuss this with Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson. Listen here or download here.

21st May - Rochdale Online

"Four rail user groups have joined together in a grass-roots campaign to revive plans for railway electrification across the North of England.... Founding groups Halifax & District Rail Action Group (HADRAG), Oldham and Rochdale rail users group (STORM), Upper Calder Valley Sustainable Transport Group, and Bradford Rail Users Group are supported by Yorkshire and North West branches of Railfuture, the national independent campaign for a better rail network."

21st May - BBC Radio Nottingham

Timetable changes have affected East Midlands trains. Ariadne Tampion, chair of East Midlands branch, is interviewed on the drive time show to get Railfuture's perspective. Listen here or download here.

21st May - LoveSport Radio

This new London radio station - despite its name - covers current affairs stories in the evening. In the aftermath of "Meltdown Monday", where Thameslink's new timetable suffered teething troubles, Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson analyses what went wrong - or not. Listen here or download here.

16th May - East Coast franchise

There's a lot of interest in the announcement that Chris Grayling is taking the East Coast franchise back into public hands for the third time. What went wrong? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson gives three interviews attempting to answer that question and others.

He appears on the ITV Central East Midlands evening news.

He is interviewed on Clive Bull's programme on LBC Listen here or download here.

And he is also interviewed on the drive time programme on BBC Three Counties Radio Listen here or download here.

16th May - Norwich Evening News

County councillors are writing to transport secretary Chris Grayling, arguing for the retention of the direct rail service between Norwich and Liverpool. Railfuture East Anglia's Chris Burton is quoted:

“Our feeling is that the route should remain a direct link, but that the service needs dramatically speeding up. It is a vital service for Norwich - the city needs to be connected and this route also serves many other cities and universities. I do think it does need greater passenger space and locomotives with faster acceleration though.”

14th May - Rail Technology Magazine

Under the headline "Campaigners ask Grayling for dedicated rail reopenings fund", the magazine picks up on the joint Railfuture / Campaign for Better Transport press release. Railfuture’s Bruce Williamson is quoted: “We know that the few reopenings that have happened have been hugely successful, so we hope that this fund will help kick-start a new wave of rail revival. This money would fund the research needed to identify the most economically viable schemes, which will then give local authorities the confidence to invest further. It's about breaking the log jam that has held up so many reopening schemes over the years.”

10th May - Dorset Echo

The paper highlights the problems in getting the cheapest possible fare, accusing some train operating companies of over-charging passengers. "Railfuture, an independent organisation campaigning for better rail services, accused the government and train operators of hiding the split-ticketing system." reads the article, before quoting Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson: “Passengers shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to find these hidden savings, which can be considerable. It’s unfair that those in the know can obtain cheaper fares than other passengers who pay the full amount.”

9th May - The Star

There are "Growing calls to reopen Woodhead railway tunnels between Sheffield and Manchester". An organisation called Grand Northern Railways wants to reopen the main tunnel, creating a roll-on, roll-off railway service for cargo vehicles which would remove thousands of lorries from congested roads through the Peak District.

"The campaign group Railfuture has said reviving the route should be a 'strong contender' to help achieve the Northern Powerhouse goal of 30-minute rail journeys between Sheffield and Manchester." says the article.

8th May - talkRADIO

The Rail Delivery Group has promised to simplify the ridiculously complex tail fares structure in this country. Eamonn Holmes and Saira Khan discuss this with Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson and Jane Gratton from the British Chambers of Commerce. Listen here or download here.

1st May - talkRADIO

Network Rail's boss Mark Carne has suggested the possibility of 24 hour train services. How realistic is this? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson discusses it with Eamonn Holmes and Saira Khan on the drive time show. Listen here or download here.

27th April - The Herald

Railfuture Scotland secretary Jane Ann Liston writes an opinion piece for the paper arguing for better facilities for foot passengers at Ardrossan. Currently the station is 200 metres from the embarkation point, making it unattractive for rail passengers. She writes:

"The new Ardrossan terminal is a perfect opportunity to put this right, by bringing the railway line right down to the new passenger arrival point which after all will be mainly used by foot passengers rather than those in cars, sparing everybody a significant hike, including those not as mobile as they were, those pushing child buggies and of course the luggage-laden holidaymakers heading for Scotland’s holiday island."

4th April - LBC

A new report highlights the cost of rail travel in the UK, comparing it unfavourably with other European countries. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited on to Nick Ferrari's breakfast show for his view. Listen here or download here.

22nd March - Northamptonshire Telegraph

Rail campaigner Jim Wade has died at the age of 75. He was a campaigner for the reopening of Corby station and a long-standing Railfuture Member. Steve Jones, secretary of East Midlands branch, is quoted: “There is little doubt that the reopening of the line to Corby may have never have happened without Jim’s involvement, given his passion and dedication for campaigning for the new rail service. It is a fitting memorial to him.”

14th March - Northern Echo

A Railfuture campaigning meeting gets a plug: "The possibility of the mothballed Stillington and Leamside lines being re-instated for passenger use will be on the agenda at a public meeting of Railfuture North-East. The campaign group, which also wants a new station to be built in Ferryhill, County Durham, is pushing for faster and more frequent rail services throughout the region and new or improved trains."

9th March - BBC Coventry & Warwickshire

The West Midlands Combined Authority has agreed to invest nearly £40 million in improvements to Coventry station. What will this mean for the travelling public? Michael Tombs from West Midlands branch is interviewed on the breakfast show. Listen here or download here.

8th March - Fenland Citizen

"Half hourly trains for Wisbech and rural transport hub at Manea is aim of new pressure group" reads the headline. That group is the Wisbech Rail Consultative Group set up by Railfuture East Anglia. Branch chairman Peter Wakefield is extensively quoted in the article, saying, amongst other things “We want to see it deliverd within the next few years and we want it to link right through to the newly funded Cambride South station. Wisbech is vital to the whole county’s economic sustainability."

4th March - Harrogate Informer

Transport campaigner Brian Dunsby has been formally presented with his OBE for services to business and the community in Harrogate. He was a previous recipient of a Railfuture RUG award. The article says:

"Brian has also worked tirelessly as the Transport Spokesman for Harrogate Chamber to improve the rail connectivity to and from Harrogate and was recognised by Railfuture UK in 2015 as the Best Campaigner and for the Best Campaign."

3rd March - Southern Daily Echo

An event organised by the Wessex branch of Railfuture has been cancelled. South Western Railway's senior stakeholder manager Phil Dominey was due to speak about the new seven year franchise, but bad weather has led to train cancellations.

A spokesperson for Railfuture is quoted: "There are train problems meaning that some people can't make it so I don't know if they've done it for the punters or for the main man."

28th February - Daily Express

The Express picks up on yesterday's LBC interview with the headline "UK snow: Expert reveals REAL reason for UK travel chaos and it's NOT snow". It's snow.

27th February - LBC

Extreme cold weather is causing disruption across much of the rail network, and Nick Ferrari interviews Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson on the breakfast show. The interview features on a web page entitled "This Is Why Trains Are Cancelled Even Though There's No Snow". Listen here or download here.

26th February - BBC Radio Leicester

What are the chances of reopening the Leicester-Burton line for passenger traffic? Railfuture East Midlands spokeswoman Ariadne Tampion is interviewed on the drive time programme in advance of a local edition of Inside Out on which she also appears. Listen here or download here.

26th February - talkRADIO

Inadequate provision of replacement buses has caused major disruption on Southern's patch, with angry passengers missing flights. What's Railfuture's perspective? Spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto the morning programme. Listen here or download here.

Quotations from the interview are used as the basis of a news article on the talkRADIO website.

21st February - The Week In

The freesheet for East Bristol & North East Somerset picks up on our press release under the headline "Battle lines drawn in light rail debate".

Sustrans had argued that the Bristol and Bath railway path was the wrong choice for a future light rail scheme. "But Railfuture, a campaign group for better rail services across the UK, has hit back at Sustrans, claiming it is not just the “path of least resistance” but the obvious choice for that very reason" reads the article, before extensively quoting from our press release.

14th February - Transport Network

Under the headline "Sustainable transport campaigners fall out over cycle path", the website picks up on our press release.

"In an open letter to Mr Cleeton, Railfuture’s press officer, Bruce Williamson, said he was himself ‘disappointed that an organisation called Sustrans is trying to scupper new sustainable transport projects’."

A similar story appears a few days later on the TransportXtra web site.

9th February - BCfm

On the Bristol community station's politics show, presenter Billy Quain interviews Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson extensively about local transport issues. These include "Metrobus", the new bus rapid transit scheme, Mayor Marvin Rees's local rail proposals, including the possibility of re-using part of the former Midland railway (now a cycle track), and many more. Listen here or download here.

6th February - LBC

The East Coast franchise is about to collapse for the third time. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto the LBC daily debrief podcast to offer his explanation. Listen here or download here.

5th February - Moneynest

This money advice website publishes an article comparing the cost of rail travel with motoring. "Rail champion Railfuture rightly point out tickets should be based on CPI, not RPI and by not using CPI, rail fares have become 17% higher than they would under the CPI measure."

3rd February - Scotsman

Scottish Greens have struck a deal to secure funding of up to £2 million to develop new stations and lines. This may include the possibility of temporary "pop-up" stations to establish whether demand exists. Railfuture gets a mention, an unnamed spokesman is quoted:

“Although Scotland has seen many more reopenings than England in the last few years, getting any sort of new rail project off the ground is still frustratingly expensive and bureaucratic, so we welcome any moves to kick-start and ease this process. Network Rail has shown how it’s possible to open temporary stations at short notice, so it makes sense to try using pop-up stations to test demand. There are numerous examples in other industries of new products and services being test-driven, so why should the railways be any different?”

The same quote appears in the Alloa Advertiser on the 8th February.

29th January - Herald

"RAIL campaigners have condemned the practice of ‘stop-skipping’ across Scotland after it emerged operators are failing to pull into stations up to 20 times per day." reads the article. it continues: " Allison Cosgrove, chair of Railfuture Scotland, told the Herald: “Stop-skipping is really annoying to people – there is never any justification for it.

“If you get on a train, then you should expect to get off at the stop you want. And not being told (your stop is being skipped) before getting on is completely unhelpful.”

Mrs Cosgrove said that while stop-skipping remains an issue across the rail network, the frustration born from overcrowding is also prominent.

She added: “I sometimes feel there is too much of an emphasis on absolute punctuality. I don’t think passengers on some routes would mind if their train was a few minutes late. What they want is a seat.

“Overcrowding is an issue; we have some longer six-carriage trains on our line now, but on some occasions not everyone who is looking to get on the train at Musselburgh can get on.

“That said, it is not always helpful to complain all the time and I believe journey times where people have to stand in Scotland is less than in England. We also recently met with Alex Hynes (ScotRail’s new managing director) and he struck me as a chap determined to do better.” "

19th January - BBC Radio Devon

It's 25 years since railway privatisation, so how has it worked out? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto Janet Kipling's afternoon show to discuss the pros and cons. Listen here or download here.

9th January - BBC Radio Bristol

A cable theft in the Bristol area has caused widespread disruption to rail services. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto John Darvall's phone-in programme to give his perspective. Listen here or download here.

He appeared on the regional news programme Points West in the evening.

8th January - talkRADIO

Railfuture is invited to write an article for the talkRADIO website on the subject of rail fare increases, and spokesman Bruce Williamson takes up the offer. The headline reads 'Rail fare hikes are just discrimination, pure and simple', although he didn't write that bit.

7th January - talkRADIO

The rail fare rise still won't go away, and head of Railfuture's passenger group, Chris Fribbins, is invited onto Jake Yapp's show on talkRADIO. Listen here or download here.

3rd January - Connect FM

Rail fare rises are still in the news, and Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appears in the news bulletins throughout the day. Listen here or download here.

3rd January - talkRADIO

With widespread dissatisfaction with rail fares, is renationalisation the answer? Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson discusses the pros and cons with Julia Hartley-Brewer. Listen here or download here.

2nd January - Daily Telegraph

The front page headline is "End scandal of rip-off rail fares", and the article continues "The campaign group Railfuture has estimated that rail fares would be 17 per cent lower if they had been tied to the CPI measure of inflation since 2014." (We actually said since 2004).

In the same edition, Telegraph reader Paul Streeter-Jewitt from Bath has the following letter published: "SIR – Bruce Williamson from the campaign group Railfuture said “very soon, trains without Wi-fi will become unthinkable” (report December 27). The same report said that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport was looking to see “how it can 'dramatically' improve internet and phone connectivity on Britain's train network by 2025”. Now we know that “very soon” means seven years."

2nd January - BBC News and others

Rail fares rises prompt protests at stations around the country. Railfuture adds its voice to the chorus of condemnation: "Bruce Williamson, of campaign group Railfuture, has called for the lower Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation measure to be used for regulated fare increases. Mr Williamson argued that if CPI had been used rather than RPI since 2004, rail fares would be 17% lower. He said people were being priced out of getting to work, with British rail fares among "the most expensive in Europe"."

Similar stories appear in the Evening Standard, Sun, ITV, Mirror, AOL and many more.

Chris Burton, vice-chair of East Anglia branch, appears on Look East in the morning and BBC Radio Cambridgeshire in the afternoon. Listen here or download here.

Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson appeared on Sky News and BBC Radio Five Live
where he was joined by David Sidebottom from Transport Focus to talk to presenters Guy Kilty and Sam Walker. Listen here or download here.

1st January - LBC

On the eve of nationwide fare protests, Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is invited onto Clive Bull's phone-in programme to discuss fares, privatisation and rolling stock. Listen here or download here.

1st January - Daily Mail

The Mail contrasts executive pay in the rail industry with immenent fare rises. Railfuture spokesman Bruce Williamson is quoted: "Passengers might say these salaries paid to chief executives are unreasonably large. There's a real problem when bonuses appear regardless of whether the company has performed well or not."

1st January - Daily Mail

Passengers are travelling in carriages which were typically built in the mid-1990s, with the average age being 21.1 years, the highest since records began. Bruce Williamson, spokesman for pressure group Railfuture, said this highlights “an uneven feast or famine in the railways when it comes to investing”. He added: “We’ve still got a lot of catching up to do.”

The same story appears in the Independent and BT online







Click HERE for previous examples of Railfuture in the media.

Media - For more information please contact:
Bruce Williamson, media spokesman
Tel: 0117 927 2954
Mobile: 07759 557389
Email: media at railfuture.org.uk

Apply to join Railfuture now - click HERE.



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