17TH - 30TH SEPTEMBER 2013


Transport Times is collaborating with Siemens and Keolis UK to produce fringe events at all three main political party conferences which will focus on rail.  All of our fringe events are free of charge and are located outside the secure zone so attendees will not require a pass to attend.  Refreshments will be provided at all of our fringe events.

Liberal Democrats
Tue 17 Sep, 13.00-14.00 Campanile Hotel, Picasso 2 Room, 10 Tunnel Street, Glasgow, G3 8HL (buffet lunch provided)


Norman Baker MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport; 
Prof David Begg (Chair), Chief Executive, Transport Times;
David Lowrie, Chief Financial Officer, Keolis;
Steve Scrimshaw, Managing Director, Siemens Rail Systems UK
Mon 23 Sep, 13.00-14.00 Holiday Inn, Ashdown 2, 137 King's Road, Brighton, BN1 2JF (buffet lunch provided)


Maria Eagle MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Transport;
Jim Steer (Chair), Director and Founder, Steer Davies Gleave;
David Brown, Chief Executive, Go-Ahead Group;
Steve Scrimshaw, Managing Director, Siemens Rail Systems UK
Mon 30 Sept, 13:00-14:00 Hilton Deansgate, Deansgate 1, 303 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4LQ (buffet lunch provided)


The Rt Hon Simon Burns MP, Minister of State for Transport;
Prof David Begg (Chair), Chief Executive, Transport Times; 
Sir Mike Hodgkinson, Chairman, Keolis;
Steve Scrimshaw, Managing Director, Siemens Rail Systems UK;
Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive, Manchester City Council

The debacle of the West Coast Main Line franchise which led the competition to be cancelled threw the whole system of UK rail franchising in to chaos with all franchises that were due to be let immediately put on hold while two government-initiated independent inquiries took place. The Laidlaw report set out the necessary steps for the government to resume the franchising process while the Brown review made recommendations on the franchising framework itself. Franchising is now back on track and the push for local rail devolution has taken on a new fervour.

After announcing its preferred route for the HS2 link to London and Birmingham which is estimated for 2026 (and later extend to Manchester and Leeds)and overcoming a High Court battle with scheme opponents, the government has now put HS2 on the fast track. 

The Transport Times rail fringe meeting will debate:

  • Has the franchising debacle left the DfT weakened when it comes to rail policy?
  • Would an arms-length rail franchising body have been better than an advisory panel?
  • Was the government right to keep long term franchises?
  • Can local rail devolution bear the financial risks of being franchisors?
  • Is the McNulty report still relevant?
  • How realistic are the subsidy reductions set out in the Rail Industry Strategic Business Plan?
  • How can the fare structure be simplified and set at sustainable levels?
  • Should HS2 have a more rapid timetable for delivery?
  • Compared to other modes, rail has secured large amounts of government funding. Can and should funding be found for Crossrail 2?

Transport Times is well known for providing unrivalled insight into the transport industry from thought leaders in the sector. The awards and events that the Transport Team produce have similar status as the best in the industry, and that's why we've been proud of First Group's involvement over the years in sponsoring numerous awards and why we will continue to support these events in the future

Tim O'Toole CBE

Former CEO, FirstGroup