Consultation outcome

Rail decentralisation: devolving decision-making on passenger rail services in England

This consultation was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Original consultation

This consultation ran from to


Consultation about devolving accountability and decision-making to local rail services.


Consultation description

Most train services in England are specified, funded and managed centrally by the Department for Transport based in London. Passenger Transport Executives’ (PTEs) and local authorities’ influence over the rail services provided in their local area is limited.

In line with its aspirations for localism, the government is seeking to devolve, where appropriate, more accountability and decision-making related to local rail services to sub-national bodies, such as local authorities and PTEs. This consultation explores how this might be done in parts of England.

Why we are consulting

The government wishes to seek views on whether improved outcomes for transport users might be achieved in some cases if more decisions relating to local rail services were made closer to the communities they serve.

We are also inviting sub-national bodies - PTEs and local authorities - to indicate their interest and come forward with outline proposals for taking on decision-making responsibility for passenger rail services in their area.

This consultation complements the command paper, ‘Reforming our railways’, published today. That sets out the government’s vision for rail and responds to Sir Roy McNulty’s independent report on value for money on the railways.