Kelling Group Shortlisted for Sustainability Excellence Award

We are thrilled to announce that Kelling Group has been shortlisted for a sustainability award in the “Property and Construction” category by The Yorkshire Sustainability Excellence Awards!

Yorkshire Sustainability Excellence Awards Shortlisted 2024

Our dedication to pioneering eco-friendly solutions in the infrastructure sector shines through our innovative Access Hire and Welfare Hire divisions. With the UK’s largest, modern fleet of eco assets, we’re leading the charge in reducing carbon emissions in the built environment, which accounts for around 30% of the UK’s total annual emissions.

Our commitment to sustainability is evident in our continuous investment in electric and hybrid technologies, smart eco assets, and data-driven environmental strategies. Our efforts have significantly reduced waste to landfill and carbon footprints, supporting our partners in achieving their ESG targets. This recognition is a testament to our team’s hard work and dedication to building a more sustainable future.

Over the last year, we’ve released the market’s first fleet of fully-electric van mounted MEWPs, as well as zero emission welfare vans. On top of Welfare Hire’s ever-expanding range of eco-friendly mobile welfare units and tower lights, all proof of our commitment to continue with a sustainable approach.

Three Things Infrastructure and Construction Firms Can Look Forward to in 2024

With the industry on track to rebound and growing access to innovative technology, there are many reasons for construction leaders to feel optimistic in 2024. So to start your new year off with some positive news, let’s look at three things we at Kelling Group are particularly excited about for the new year:

1. Sustainable equipment is easier to access

Many professionals feel understandably concerned that progress on sustainability is too slow. A recent rail industry poll found that just 13% of leaders believe the UK Government will meet its railway decarbonisation target of 2040, while 87% expect it to fall short.

The truth, however, is many meaningful improvements are being made – and our own product range is a testament to that fact. Over the last year, we’ve released the market’s first fleet of fully-electric van mounted MEWPs, as well as zero emission welfare vans. On top of Welfare Hire’s ever-expanding range of eco-friendly mobile welfare units and tower lights, it’s never been easier to make sustainable decisions about your equipment. 

In 2024, we expect to see a significant uptick in demand for such environmentally sound equipment, as firms see how valuable the boost to their ESG scores can be for winning business – and what could be more positive than that?

2. Innovative tech promises significant gains

In 2024, a wide range of innovative solutions are more easily available – not to mention more powerful! – than ever. The digitisation of strategic equipment, such as mobile welfare units, has unlocked several powerful benefits. 

The most recent mobile welfare units, Welfare Hire released, for example, feature a smart telemetry system that enables you to optimise power usage. This makes it easy to reduce energy waste, which has both ecological and financial benefits. It also allows users to operate remotely, minimise downtime and optimise performance onsite.

3. Better ESG data

The value of accurate environmental, social and governance (ESG) scores is clear. But most firms have struggled to access reliable data on their site’s emissions – until now.

After amassing thousands of days’ worth of volumetric data from construction sites, Kelling Group is able to provide reliable estimates of the volume of CO₂ our equipment emits. And by comparing this to industry standards, we can reveal the size of your environmental savings, along with financial and noise pollution reductions:

Make a Positive Start with Kelling Group

While these trends show that 2024 has lots of potential for progress, success will be determined by your strategic choices – especially when it comes to partnering with the right suppliers. 

At Kelling Group, we believe our role is not just to provide a market-leading fleet of strategic vehicles, but to support our partners with expert guidance and unparalleled service.

Want to forge a stronger partnership this year?

Kelling Group wins Business Award

Organised in conjunction with the Yorkshire Children’s Charity, the awards and fundraising event took place in Leeds with over 100 regional businesses partaking. The calibre of finalists was very high with good representation of businesses from different industries across the region.

Kelling Group were delighted to accept the award of Mid-Market Corporate of The Year at this year’s The Yorkshires. Business Awards and would like to congratulate the other nominees and winners, as well as the event attendees, in supporting the incredible event for Yorkshire Children’s Charity.

Aside from celebrating the best of what the Yorkshire region has to offer in business, the event supported the Yorkshire Children’s Charity to raise awareness and funding. In excess of £182,000 was raised on the day, which will go a very long way to supporting the region’s most vulnerable children throughout the winter.

“On behalf of the entire Kelling team, I am honoured to accept the award of Mid-Market Corporate of the Year. There was also a fantastic amount of money raised on Friday – very well done to all the hard working team at the Yorkshire Children’s Charity.”

Stephen Moore, CEO

Kelling Group is a leading provider of specialist AccessWelfare and lighting equipment hire and services to key infrastructure and construction sectors.

How Kelling Group Continues to Push Our Industry Forward

Partnership has never been more important for ambitious construction and infrastructure projects. With pressure to decarbonise supply chains, improve efficiency and deliver better results faster, who you choose to rely on for strategic equipment is a big question.

That’s why we believe it’s important for our customers to understand exactly what kind of company they are dealing with. But we don’t want to only be defined by our past achievements – we’d rather be understood based on our future.

In this article, we want to explore three factors that form the core of our company’s future – and what we’re currently doing to push things forward.

1. Localised support

Service has always been one of our core strategic ‘pillars’; that’s why we pride ourselves on delivering our welfare vans and van mounted MEWPs anywhere in the UK within 24 hours. But quality service is not only about delivery, maintenance and a responsive support team – it’s about understanding our customers’ specific needs.

The recent opening of our Scottish Depot is a perfect example. With a dedicated team operating out of our facility in the central belt, we are now able to deliver a different level of support to Scottish projects. We provide access to our market-leading range of mobile welfare units, and can supplement that with localised support for our Scottish customers.

This is emblematic of our approach to partnership: as we expand our offering, it is not simply in pursuit of growth – it’s to understand better and cater to our customers’ unique challenges and needs.


2. Investments in excellence

Our fleet has long since been the UK’s youngest and largest. This in turn provides an advantage we are intent on leveraging to continue improving our offering.

We are currently expanding our fleet, purchasing new mobile welfare units, mobile lighting towers and van mounted MEWPs to support growing demand, as well as upgrading existing equipment to ensure it remains the very best on the market. 

Such investments are essential for us to live up to our partners’ expectations. They know we are able to replace key equipment quickly, provide more units whenever needed and keep their projects running no matter what.

3. Solving problems through innovation

At our core, we are a company that focuses on our customers’ deeper needs. Our customers don’t simply need a quality mobile welfare unit; they need a way to reduce their carbon emissions. Our partners don’t just want a van mounted MEWP; they need flexibility and control over where they are able to work at heights. 

This mentality inevitably leads us to innovation, and we are always pushing our fleet forward with exciting new additions. This year alone we’ve launched the EcoXi and our Access Zero fully-electric van mounted MEWP; as well as the recent launch of our new mobile WC products to enhance hygiene and employee experience that also strengthens our proposition.

From providing better access platform training to making green technology more widely available, our approach empowers our partners to solve many of their toughest problems – and benefit from our insatiable desire to continue moving the needle forward.


How Kelling Group Helps You Keep Costs Under Control

Staying on a budget is always a challenge for construction projects. Research shows that nine out of ten construction projects experienced cost overrun, with an average overspend of 28%. But what is more surprising is how predictable the cause of these problems is.

Every project manager knows that the true cost of their equipment is not just the price of hire – it’s the sum of everything it takes to operate it effectively. Vehicles like Mobile Welfare Units and Van Mounted MEWPs are essential for many projects. But what can leaders do to ensure they maximize the value of every unit?

The answer is forecasting

Cost overruns don’t happen because leaders don’t know there will be unexpected costs; they happen because leaders, in some cases, cannot accurately plan for them. There are multiple ways a piece of equipment can lead to unexpected cost increases, which makes it difficult to anticipate the cost. 

This is changing though, as suppliers today can provide far more accurate total cost forecasts – or even offer supply agreements that remove the risk altogether.


Historical data increases accuracy

Welfare Hire is a perfect example of this. Our mobile welfare units and lighting towers run on more sustainable power sources, which dramatically reduces operating costs. But we have also gathered a large volume of data from real projects, together amounting to over half a million operating days, enabling us to build our Eco Calculator.

While every project is unique, the running costs of mobile welfare units and lighting towers are relatively predictable. The ECO Calculator allows you to estimate the savings in running costs you will gain through Welfare Hire with a high degree of accuracy – and finetune your order to fit your budget.

Removing hidden costs

Forecasting is highly valuable, but another way to keep hidden costs under control is to simply remove them. Maintenance accounts for up to 30% of the total cost of most vehicles, which is why Access Hire includes full support and maintenance packages. 

By removing the guesswork around maintenance costs, project managers reduce their risk and enable more accurate budgeting. But this isn’t the only way they can take control of their budgets.

The power of leasing

Access Lease enables leaders to lease their Vehicle Mounted MEWPs for the duration of a project. Not only does this allow them to access best-in-class vehicles at a lower cost – and avoid long manufacturer lead times – it also allows you to spread costs and save as much as 50% compared with loan repayments.

With all of these innovations, keeping strategic equipment costs under control is no longer a question of guesswork – it’s a decision project leaders can make. Whether it’s mobile welfare units or Fully-Electric MEWPs, Kelling Group is ready to support your project in creating visibility, consistency and long-term savings.

Four Ways Exceptional Service Keeps Your Project Moving

Delays are the bane of construction and infrastructure projects. Recent research reveals that roughly 10% of activities on the average site are performed out of sequence¹, with over two-thirds of projects running over budget by more than 10% – and larger projects routinely taking 20% longer than anticipated.

How can these challenges be overcome? One simple solution is to choose the right partners. Suppliers of strategic equipment like Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms (VMAPs) and mobile welfare units should not only offer best-in-class products – they should be expected to support you throughout the project.

Here are four ways this can help avoid delays:

1. Availability

Delivering, collecting and servicing vehicles can be a serious logistical challenge, if your provider has limited access to specific areas and will take a long time getting to your site.

This limits the flexibility of your site, and leaves you vulnerable to unexpected delays. But Access Hire and Welfare Hire each provide both service and deliveries across the entire country. With the largest fleet in the country and an unparalleled delivery network, we are able to get you what you need faster and more reliably than other providers.

“We’ve never been let down with a collection or delivery”

Kelling Group Customer


2. Specialist knowledge

Vehicle mounted access platforms, mobile welfare units, lighting towers – these are very technical pieces of equipment which require in-depth specialist knowledge. Without that knowledge, it will take longer to service the vehicle – and any issue you experience is more likely to recur.

As specialists in our chosen fields, both Welfare Hire and Access Hire pride ourselves not only on providing the best equipment, but the highest level of expertise. Our team is made up of specialists who know the ins-and-outs of the equipment we offer – to ensure we can offer the best service possible.

We offer detailed advice to our partners at the start of every hire, to ensure the right equipment is selected – and used to its full potential. Then we provide assistance throughout the entire process, so that issues are resolved faster.

“They provide us with high quality products and service each and every time, taking the hassle out of welfare provision.”

Kelling Group Customer

3. Fully maintained equipment

Maintenance is essential for key strategic equipment. If your mobile welfare units or vehicle mounted access platforms suddenly stall or experience a mechanical fault, it can completely derail a day’s schedule, as you are unable to complete tasks involving the vehicles. And even if the vehicles do still function, you may be breaking regulatory requirements by using them without proper maintenance.

At Kelling Group, we pride ourselves on avoiding such problems. Both Access Hire and Welfare Hire include rigorous quality checks as part of our standard service offering. This creates a consistent level of quality, ensuring every mobile welfare unit, lighting tower and vehicle mounted access platform we provide is properly maintained- and supports your project, rather than disrupting it.

“The vehicles are maintained and serviced to a very high standard. This is vital to us from a safety and regulatory perspective.”

Kelling Group Customer
Kelling Group Sales And Hire Controller

4. A complete support network

When problems do arise with your strategic equipment, they can often be dealt with very quickly – as long as there is proper support on-hand. That’s why both Access Hire and Welfare Hire benefit from a complete support network – from service teams in the office to engineers in the field.

Access Hire boosts this with a strategic network that enables us to provide 24/7/265 support. So even if your infrastructure project works through the night or early morning, you’ll have access to fast, responsive support if there’s any issue with your vehicle mounted access platforms.

“The support network is excellent and critically, for our business, available 24/7/365.”

Access Hire Customer

Access Zero – The UK’s first all-electric MEWP for lease and hire available now

The first all-electric vehicle-mounted access platforms are now available for long term hire and lease from the UK’s leading specialist in this field, Access Hire Nationwide (AHN), part of Kelling Group.  The lease / hire package, including the all-electric VMAP and full maintenance / service support, has been launched as Access Zero.

Access Zero represents a unique proposition, combining the latest vehicle-mounted access technology along with a fully managed solution, including inter alia, breakdown & recovery, 24/7/365 operational support, LOLER and servicing, dedicated account management and replacement courtesy vehicles.

“The new Renault Master ZE with CPL KL26 electric boom provides a market leading, innovative solution for those needing to work safely at height using a specialist zero emissions asset,” stated AHN Sales Director, Martin Whitehead.  “Both Access Hire and our customers are working toward ESG targets, improving on our sustainable performance, and 100% electric vehicles are the next step on that journey to net zero.”

“Access Hire has always had a long-term focus on minimizing emissions, whilst providing innovative assets that meet clients’ operational requirements,” said Stephen Moore, Kelling Group CEO.  “We have the youngest and largest fleet of modern ULEZ assets in the UK, as well as existing hybrid solutions.

“The addition of the full electric Renault Master ZE augments our ECO credentials even further. Given our experience and expertise in the sector, we are uniquely placed to advise clients on the most appropriate asset solution to meet operational needs, whilst minimising CO2 emissions and meeting core ESG requirements.”

One example of a sector keen to capitalise on greener technology is that of local authorities, who use access platforms to, for example, maintain street lighting and other amenities.  Reportedly, almost two thirds have declared that they aim to be carbon neutral some 20 years before the government’s target of 2050.1   With that in mind, the changeover to electric working vehicles is an important, but easy way to progress towards that overall net zero target.

Estimates place the number of electric and hybrid domestic vehicles on the UK’s roads at the end of 2022 at around 2-3% of the total, a growth of around 40% from the previous year.2  Growth in working vehicles, including buses and heavy-duty trucks, has been somewhat slower3, however as new technologies and batteries with increased performance are adopted, the gap in growth is expected to narrow.

With over 15 years’ experience devoted to the provision of access platforms, the AHN team provide technical advice and assistance throughout the hire process from selection of the right technology to IPAF operator training and help with advice around the use of these specialist vehicles.

All vehicle maintenance requirements, both proactive and reactive, are fully managed on behalf of the hirer by the 24/7/365 AHN Support Team, including LOLERs and regular servicing, ensuring regulatory compliance.  For assets where down time can be costly to the operator, the combination of young, modern vehicles and full maintenance support offers AHN’s partners peace of mind, with maximised asset availability.

This combination saw AHN cement its leading position in VMAP provision last year by being named as the No. 1 provider by Cranes & Access magazine for the third year running, whilst continuing to build its fleet further.

“As well as being the largest fleet in the UK, we continually invest to provide the most modern, technologically advanced vehicles, with an average vehicle age of less than two and a half years.  Keeping the vehicles in top condition provides a safe working environment as well as ensuring that they operate in the greenest way,” continued Whitehead.

“Adding electric vehicles to our fleet as soon as we could is a progression of our commitment to providing the most modern and greenest technology available for our partners.”

  1. Delivering local net zero | Local Government Association
  2. Electric car statistics – EV Data [Update: Jan 23] | heycar
  3. Trends and developments in electric vehicle markets – Global EV Outlook 2021 – Analysis – IEA

Charities Lineham Farm, 4 Louis and Yorkshire Air Ambulance visit Kelling Group

Kelling Group has welcomed representatives from our three Chairman’s Charities recently, as our first year of supporting them came to a close.  We were extremely proud to be able to donate almost £27,000 to the charities from the fundraising efforts of our employees.

Chairman John Wood (centre) and CEO Stephen Moore (4th from right), with members of the Charity Board, present Kelling’s donation to Bob McGurrell (2nd from left) & Tracey McGurrell (3rd from right) of 4 Louis, Jenny Jones (3rd from left) of Lineham Farm and Vickie Bowden (2nd from right) of Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Whilst here, the representatives chatted to members of the Kelling team to update them on the important work they do and to exchange ideas about how we can support them further in the coming year. 

“These three charities all carry out incredible work helping our communities.  They focus on different issues, but all depend entirely on donations to provide their vital services to people in need,” commented John Wood, Kelling Group Chairman.

The three charities that Kelling Group support are Lineham Farm, 4 Louis and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance:

Leeds Children’s Charity at Lineham Farm works with and supports some of the most disadvantaged children in the City, offering respite from difficult and sometimes abusive home lives. They are dedicated to brightening children’s lives by providing unforgettable breaks and valuable learning experiences in a safe and happy environment. Leeds Children’s Charity at Lineham Farm

4 Louis is a charity providing useful tools, training, and equipment free of charge to hospital units, hospices, and other professionals, which support families affected by miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of a baby or child.   Started in the Sunderland area, 4 Louis now supports families across the UK. 4Louis – Stillbirth, Childloss

Yorkshire Air Ambulance is a dedicated helicopter emergency air ambulance for the Yorkshire and Humber region. It currently operates two Airbus H145 aircrafts and relies solely on donations to keep both ambulances in the air. Yorkshire Air ambulance Charity | YAA | Donate Today

Throughout the year, Kelling Group employees undertook a wide range of activities to raise money for the charities.  These included taking part in the Yorkshire 3 peaks and Lands End to John O’Groats challenges, bake sales, raffles and football cards.  The company vending machine also raises money as does a specially branded welfare unit that is hired out to customers.

“The team here were so touched by the work that the charities do, they really got behind the drive to raise money for them,” continued John.  “There are lots of great ideas that we’re considering for the coming year, so we’ll be carrying on the effort and hope to raise even more money!”

The special charity welfare unit, which customers can hire to contribute to Kelling’s charity fundraising drive.

Five Important Ways to Improve Safety in the Forestry Industry

Physical safety is among the biggest challenges for the forestry industry. In the last decade, 24 arborists have been killed while working – and nearly 1,400 have suffered an injury¹. It currently ranks as the industry with the most fatal accidents in the UK – with 8 times more than the second placed Construction ².

Of course, some level of risk is inevitable in an industry where individuals are working at heights and operating equipment like chainsaws and often working alone. But there are many decisions project managers and leaders can make to ensure their people are safe and secure.

In this article, we explore five important ways Welfare Hire and Access Hire help equip our forestry partners for improved safety, using our range of vehicle mounted access platforms, mobile welfare units and mobile lighting towers:

1. Secure vehicles for working at heights

Falling from heights accounts for nearly a quarter of all workplace deaths in the UK³, and is the single most common cause of injury in forestry. This means extra attention needs to be paid to the vehicles and equipment used to undertake such work.

Access Hire’s market-leading Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms provide the robust support workers need to work at heights. With two person baskets and advanced platform controls, workers feel in control and able to navigate challenging conditions with confidence.

2. Comfortable space to rest

The links between poor quality rest and accidents in the workplace are well established. But in an industry like forestry, onsite errors can lead to far more severe outcomes than most.

Welfare Hire’s innovative mobile welfare units are designed to ensure this is never an issue. They provide up to 20% more internal space for rest, along with a range of vital amenities, comfortable seating and high-quality facilities, so your people are always able to relax during down time and stay present on the job.

3. High-quality lighting towers

Working during periods without natural light is vital to deliver most forestry projects. But this leaves you vulnerable to lighting failure – which not only causes disruptions, but can lead to health and safety risks.

Welfare Hire’s eco-friendly lighting towers provide the perfect solution, providing high-quality, energy efficient light that allows you to keep the work area properly lit at all times. The X-EcoHYBRID LITHIUM lighting tower, for example, offers a whopping 445 hours of continuous light per refill.

4. Reliable support

Equipment failure causes disruption to forestry projects – especially those that are in very remote, difficult-to-reach locations. But it also presents a risk to onsite safety, as malfunctioning equipment may lead to accidents or errors.

This is particularly so given the environmental challenges faced by forestry projects; in a recent survey, 15% of forestry professionals cited “Mother Nature” as the single biggest challenge they face.

As a result, these businesses must have reliable support on hand to handle any issues their specialist equipment presents. Both Welfare Hire and Access Hire provide just such help, with 24/7 dedicated expert support available to every client

Kelling Group Access Hire Maintenance

5. Regular service and maintenance

Reliable support is important, but so are preventative measures. That is why Welfare Hire and Access Hire each also pride themselves on providing regular, rigorous maintenance on all of our vehicles that goes above and beyond the regulatory standards.

We take care of LOLER testing of our vehicle mounted access platforms; every welfare unit undergoes a 62-point pre-delivery inspection; every vehicle mounted access platform undergoes a 50-point pre-delivery inspection; and we ensure seamless delivery of every vehicle, to keep our customers working at all times


Four Key Trends in Rail for 2022

The UK railway sector is among the country’s proudest and most robust industries. It contributes £42.9 billion to the national economy, supporting roughly 710,000 jobs¹ and facilitating 990 million passenger journeys annually²

But what challenges does the industry face? And how can ambitious organisations secure their success in the coming years?

COVID-19 necessitated extreme restrictions, essentially flatlining much of the industry. Yet by the end of 2021, things appeared to be back on track. Confidence in the rail industry had returned to pre-2019 levels, with almost half of all rail businesses expecting healthy growth throughout 2022³.

In this article, we explore four key trends that will define the rail sector over the next 12 months.

1. Supply chain disruption

Supply chain disruptions are wreaking havoc on a number of industries – and few expect the problem to disappear any time soon. With a huge shortage of HGV drivers, logistics firms face a genuine crisis, bringing about severe delays in deliveries and a dramatic dip in economic activity.

This presents rail providers with an opportunity. According to industry estimates, a single standard-length train can take the same load as up to 76 trucks. And while plenty of supply chains already utilise rail freight, the current crisis has prompted many organisations to radically rethink their supply chain management – with an appreciation of the relative reliability and resilience of rail. 

Currently, just 17% of the UK’s freight is shipping via rail – well below the global average of 29%. But the UK government hopes to encourage more firms to utilise rail, with the Mode Shift Revenue Support scheme providing funds for organisations looking to introduce rail to their supply chains

To capitalise on this, rail operators must be able to properly position themselves. Rail removes the need for 7 million lorry journeys each year, and produces 76% less carbon than road transport. In fact, a recent report from Deloitte showed that each rail freight path on the network has an economic value of up to £1.5 million per year.

By showcasing these facts, rail operators can win more business and expand their impact across the UK economy.

2. Sustainability

Rail is a relatively sustainable option compared to other transport industries, responsible for just 4% of global transport emissions¹⁰. But that doesn’t mean the industry can become complacent, as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) scores are likely to become even more essential in the future – and organisations will have to demonstrate their efforts to further mitigate their impact. 

The most common policy suggestion for making railways more sustainable is electrification, as 29% of UK trains still run on diesel¹¹. The Rail Industry Association has already publicly stated that the UK is not electrifying its railways fast enough to meet current net-zero targets¹² – a fact not helped by the Treasury’s decision to block a planned £30 billion investment in railway electrification¹³. But the truth is electrification cannot by itself suffice.

Rail providers need to address the greenhouse gas emissions throughout their entire value chain, in various upstream and downstream activities – from the production of rolling stock and infrastructure work to which Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms they use on-site.

By reducing reliance on diesel, utilising more renewables and ensuring third-party partners have strong environmental credentials, rail providers can further buffer their claim to be a truly sustainable alternative to other forms of transport.

3. Improving customer experience

Rail is responsible for just 8% of the UK’s public’s travel – nearly half of the 14% global average¹⁴. And many experts believe this is due to poor Customer Experience (CX), citing everything from a perceived lack of punctuality to uncomfortable seating. In fact, a recent report confirmed that UK rail passengers believe they receive very poor value for money¹⁵.

There are two key drivers here: ticket price and service quality. 

3a. Ticket price

March saw the biggest train fare rise in 9 years¹⁶, and reports already suggest that certain ticket prices could increase a further 12% by 2023¹⁷

All of this is happening amidst heavily publicised rail worker strikes. Billed as the most important protest in decades, roughly 80% of services were scrapped¹⁸ – causing disruption across the entire country. Rail providers therefore find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, choosing between keeping prices down for consumers whilst maintaining relations with their workforce.

3b. Service quality

Rail providers must deliver a more reliable, comfortable experience. Customer expectations are increasing quickly, especially with the launch of new, more modernised services. From wheelchair accessibility to air conditioning, providers are under growing pressure to upgrade their service.

Much of this will be driven by the adoption of digital technology. A recent EY report found that using real-time data to manage capacity could help avoid overcrowding and deliver a more comfortable experience for passengers¹⁹.

4. Modernisation

From Build Back Better to the “Levelling Up” agenda, the UK government has made clear its intentions to invest in improved infrastructure – including modernising the railways. This is most clearly embodied in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, a detailed summary of plans to “replace franchising, accelerate innovation and integrate the railways to deliver a more efficient and financially sustainable railway sector²⁰.”

These are not new efforts, of course. Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan has invested billions of pounds to improve and expand their infrastructure and service delivery since 2014²¹, and will continue to lead the way. 

In 2022, the organisation plans to make a huge range of improvements to its service, from reducing accident risk by 10% and making a 28% reduction in the number of delayed trains to responding more quickly to customer complaints and increasing their workforce’s gender diversity²². The company invested £83 million in 503 railway projects during Easter 2022 alone²³.

The main difference today is the degree of support these efforts will receive from the government – and a push to end the “Fragmentation” of efforts. Just this month, the Department of Transport (DfT) began drawing up legislation to reform the UK’s rail services and infrastructure²⁴, with a mandate to unite all modernisation efforts behind a single “guiding mind”²⁵.

Whatever the legislative outcome, these decisions will have a lasting impact on every organisation involved in the railway sector. And for those that want to gain an advantage, preparing for change is the only viable option.