Plans to create a body to oversee Britain’s railways will be pushed back until at least next year, the UK Government has confirmed.
The creation of the body, Great British Railways, was due to be included in the Transport Bill.
However, the UK’s transport secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan told MPs on Wednesday that the opportunity to bring forward the legislation in the current parliamentary session had been lost.
Speaking at Westminster’s Transport Committee, Trevelyan indicated that the Bill should follow in the next session of parliament, from next May.
“The challenges of things like the energy legislation we’ve got to bring in and various others has meant that we have lost the opportunity to have that in this third session,” she said.
“What we are continuing to pitch for will be what I would call a narrow bill around the future of transport technologies, the legislation around things like e-scooters.”
She added: “That bigger piece around rail transformation in particular, we will need to look at in the fourth session.”
Speaking in the Commons following the conclusion of Prime Minister’s Questions, Labour MP Rachael Maskell criticised the Government for not making the announcement in a statement to Parliament.
“This morning, the Transport Select Committee heard from the transport secretary that the Government will axe its commitment to create Great British Railways in this parliamentary session,” she said, having raised a point of order.
“There has been no written statement to announce this decision and I am not aware that an application has been made to you, Mr Speaker, for an oral statement either by the secretary of state.”