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Williams railways review to look at ‘all options’

Image copyright EPA Keith Williams, who is heading a year-long review of UK railways, has refused to rule out nationalisation as a possible recommendation to government. Mr Williams is a deputy chairman of John Lewis Partnership and former chief executive of British Airways. “I am independent, for me all options are on the table. I think we should look at everything,” he told the BBC. “Our job is to come up with a recommendation for government, of whatever persuasion, to take forward.” His review was established to suggest the most…

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Sexual offences up 16% on British railways

Image copyright Getty Images There has been a 17% increase in crime recorded on British railways, including a rise in the number of violent and sexual offences, police figures show. British Transport Police recorded 61,159 crimes in 2017-18 in England, Scotland and Wales, up from 52,235. Sexual offences rose by 16% to 2,472 and violent crime by 26% to 11,711. The End Violence Against Women Coalition said a rise in the number of women reporting sexual violence was partly because of the #MeToo movement. It added that there have also…

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Labour could renationalise railways in five years – McDonnell

Image copyright PA Image caption Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said Labour’s nationalisation plans would be cost-neutral The rail industry could be completely renationalised within five years if Labour wins the next election, the shadow chancellor has suggested. John McDonnell said he was looking at whether break clauses in contracts could allow rail franchises to be taken into public hands before they expired. He is planning to create a new unit in the Treasury to oversee the party’s wider nationalisation plans. It would advise on issues such as possible compensation for…

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Train delays: Who is responsible for running the railways?

Image copyright Getty Images The fact that “no-one took charge” was the cause of weeks of delays and cancellations for train passengers across England earlier in the year, according to independent regulator, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). But the question of who should have taken charge is not clear-cut, because no single body owns or is responsible for the whole railway system. Tracks, tunnels, bridges Network Rail is the company responsible for the British rail network’s infrastructure. That includes tracks and signalling as well as tunnels, bridges and…

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Network Rail: ‘Record number’ of young people dying on railways

Image copyright British Transport Police Image caption Tom Hubbard suffered life-changing injuries after being struck by 25,000 volts The number of teenagers taking risks on railway tracks has jumped by 80% in the last five years, new figures suggest. Rail safety data shows the number of young risk-takers doubles during the summer compared with winter months. Network Rail say a record number of young people have lost their life on railway tracks this year. To combat a lack of knowledge about the dangers, the rail industry and the British Transport…

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The volunteers saving lives on the railways

A team of volunteers are patrolling trains and stations with the aim of preventing suicide attempts and fatalities. The project, called Rail Pastors, is an extension of the Street Pastors initiative, which sees church groups helping people on the high streets at weekends. Reading was the first place outside of London to introduce the scheme in 2015 and the group says incidents in the Thames Valley are down by a third. It was first introduced in Barnet in 2014 and there are now 100 rail pastors operating in five areas…

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