A new joint initiative set to drive up the quality of design across Great Britain’s rail network has been launched by Design Council and Network Rail.

The project will see Design Council experts provide comprehensive strategic design advice to Network Rail to help embed a strong design culture across the organisation while also endorsing the value of design within its supply chain. This ground-breaking work will play a key role in supporting Network Rail achieve its aim of being a more customer-focused, service-driven organisation that puts passengers first.

Showcasing and endorsing the value of design to a wide range of infrastructure stakeholders, Design Council experts aim to:

· ensure Network Rail’s Principles of Good Design – developed with Design Council’s support – are adopted across the organisation.

· shape the development and outcome of Network Rail design initiatives, such as design competitions

· deliver strategic planning and design advice

· increase opportunities for Network Rail to talk about design on a national stage

Sue Morgan, Joint Acting Chief Executive at Design Council, said: “We’re delighted to offer this new strategic design advice service to Network Rail, focused on embedding good design and delivery across the organisation. Well-designed rail infrastructure has the potential to improve people’s lives enormously; not only by giving passengers a better experience, but also by stimulating economic renewal, social enhancement and environmental restoration. We look forward to sharing the insights of this work with those across the industry, driving up the quality of design across UK infrastructure.”

Anthony Dewar, Professional Head of Buildings and Architecture at Network Rail said: “Railway infrastructure plays a central role in our communities and needs to be well-designed to give all passengers a positive experience. We’re therefore delighted to be working with Design Council on this new initiative. Strengthening a design culture across Network Rail will not only help drive up the quality of design across the rail network, but also show our suppliers the benefits that this can bring.”

This latest initiative builds on Design Council’s successful programme of work with Network Rail over the last three years, including the recent ThinkStation programme where Design Council’s developed a framework for the future design of local railway stations. This informed the brief and judging for a Network Rail and RIBA international design competition for small and medium stations across Great Britain.

On 10 February 2021, Design Council and New London Architecture (NLA) will be presenting a panel event to discuss the value of design in public transport infrastructure. It will be chaired by Sue Morgan. Anthony Dewar will be speaking alongside Sir Peter Hendy, Chair of Network Rail and Mary Creagh, CEO of Living Streets. This free event is open to all.

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