Great British Railways: Union flag influences logo of new public body
A PROPOSED new logo for the body overseeing rail infrastructure across Britain has been revealed.
Great British Railways (GBR) will be a public body replacing the current infrastructure body Network Rail by setting timetables and ticket prices and selling tickets in England.
It was announced in May last year by the Conservative government and GBR will start offering services from 2023.
The new body will have five “regional” divisions, one for Scotland, another covering Wales and the West of England and three more specifically for the English regions.
READ MORE: Shona Craven: Tory rail reshuffle isn’t great, and it’s not really ‘British’
While the new logo (below), along with variations that include the GBR and Great British Railways names, have been registered on January 11 with the Office of Intellectual Property but have not yet been officially registered.
It is not the first time that the current Conservative government has sought to put the Union flag on new projects, with plans for a large eight-storey flag on the side of a building in Cardiff shelved in price reason.
In Scotland, GBR will have control of rail infrastructure such as rail lines, while ScotRail will maintain most rail services across the country.
When GBR was first announced last year, the Scottish Government said it had “not been consulted” over the plans despite the effects on Scottish Railways.
READ MORE: ‘Very disappointing’: Tory government slashes Network Rail budget by £1billion
A Scottish Government spokesperson added: “The complete decentralization of our railways is necessary to ensure that we can provide the efficient and responsive services that Scottish communities and its economy deserve.
“We have made these points forcefully and repeatedly to the UK Government, who have chosen to ignore the views of Scottish Ministers who fund the Scottish Railway.”
The UK government recently launched a competition to find the headquarters of the new public body GBR with the best candidates to be shortlisted in May. A public vote will then determine the winner.
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Our railways have kept this country moving for nearly 200 years, but it’s time to usher in a new era that will shape our network for the next 200.
“I call on people across the country to explain why the real home of the railroads is at your doorstep.”
READ MORE: Boris Johnson’s plan for a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland abandoned
The rise of the GBR follows the findings of the Union Connectivity Review undertaken by Network Rail chairman Peter Hendy, which showed a much-loved proposal to have a fixed link between Scotland and Northern Ireland “too technically difficult and expensive”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Scottish Secretary Alister Jack had floated the idea of a £20billion bridge or tunnel linking the two nations in a bid to bolster support for the Union since Johnson first was elected Prime Minister.
One of the main recommendations of the review was to create a map of strategic locations across the UK and find the best way to connect them.
There is no indication from the UK Government that plans for the Union Connectivity Review will be implemented with devolved nations, although transport is a devolved issue.