Research briefings

This page provides access to research briefings produced by the House of Commons Library, the House of Lords Library and the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). You can filter the research briefings by date, type, or one of 350 topics. Pick your options from the dropdown menus.

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    Glossary

    • Commons Briefing papers: Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Lords Library Notes: Authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
    • POSTbriefs: Responsive policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on mini-literature reviews and peer review, typically commissioned by select committees and library research services.
    • POSTnotes: Proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board.
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    Topics

    Topics: Research material can be filtered by subject using the topic terms. The topics are arranged in a taxonomy (a hierarchical classification) and can be further filtered using sub-topics.

Displaying 1-20 out of 121

Parliamentary debate 24/10/17: Improving rail links in South West England
Published Friday, October 20, 2017 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0192

Topic: Railways

Passenger rail services in England
Published Tuesday, August 29, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN06521
This paper explains how passenger rail services are provided in England and the policies of successive governments towards rail franchising. It also looks at those proposals which have been put forward for further reform – specifically more partnership working, competition, public ownership and devolution.

Topic: Railways

Railway passenger franchises
Published Wednesday, August 23, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN01343
This is one of two briefing papers on rail passenger franchising. This paper sets out the terms of the various rail franchises in England, Wales and Scotland. A second paper, SN6521, sets out in more detail how franchising works and the franchising policy of successive governments.

Topic: Railways

High Speed 2 (HS2) Phase 2b and beyond
Published Thursday, August 10, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-8071
This paper summarises Phase 2b of the proposed new high speed rail line between London and the North of England (HS2). It gives a brief overview of the scheme, its costs, compensation arrangements and the preferred route. It also looks at Northern Powerhouse Rail (HS3) and high speed rail to and within Scotland.

Topic: Railways

High Speed 2 (HS2) Phase 2a
Published Thursday, August 10, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN07082
This paper summarises Phase 2a of the proposed new high speed rail line between London and the North of England (HS2). It gives a brief overview of the scheme, its costs, compensation arrangements and the Bill which will give statutory and planning authority for the construction of the scheme.

Topic: Railways

High Speed 2 (HS2) Phase 1
Published Thursday, August 10, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN00316
This paper summarises Phase 1 of the proposed new high speed rail line between London and the North of England (HS2). It gives a brief overview of the scheme, its costs, compensation arrangements and the Act which gives statutory and planning authority for the construction of the scheme. Construction is planned to begin soon.

Topic: Railways

Rail structures, ownership and reform
Published Thursday, July 27, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7992
This paper explains the various ways railways are structured around the world and sets out how rail structures in Great Britain have developed to date and prospects for the future.

Topic: Railways

Rail electrification
Published Thursday, July 27, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN05907
This briefing paper explains the rail electrification schemes planned by the Labour, Coalition and Conservative governments and where things currently stand with each one.

Topic: Railways

Parliamentary debate 19/7/17: Thameslink passenger services
Published Tuesday, July 18, 2017 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0145
This debate will take place between 4.30 and 5.30 pm on 19 July in Westminster Hall. The Member who secured the debate is Anne Main MP (Con., St Albans).

Topic: Railways

General debate 4/7/17 - The Chris Gibb Report: Improvement to Southern Railway
Published Thursday, June 29, 2017 | Commons Debate packs CDP-2017-0127
This general debate will take place in the Commons Chamber on 4 July 2017.

Topic: Railways

Queen's Speech 2017 Day 2: Business, Economic Affairs, Transport, Energy, Environment and Agriculture
Published Monday, June 19, 2017 | Lords Library notes LLN-2017-0024
This Lords Library briefing has been prepared in advance of the forthcoming Queen’s Speech, which is due to take place on 21 June 2017. The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen’s Speech over five days between 22 and 29 June 2017. This briefing is one of five prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.
Railway rolling stock (trains)
Published Thursday, June 15, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN03146
This paper gives a brief overview of the GB train fleet, explains who owns the trains and how they are leased to the companies that provide train services. It also looks at four big rolling stock procurements: InterCity Express, Thameslink, Crossrail and HS2 and sets out the policies of successive governments.

Topic: Railways

British Transport Police (BTP)
Published Monday, June 12, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN03119
This paper sets out the jurisdiction and funding of the British Transport Police (BTP), including the powers and responsibilities of the British Transport Police Authority (BTPA). It sets out the force’s operation approach and summarises the policing environment. It concludes with a brief summary of Government reviews of BTP and possible plans for the future. Although BTP is not devolved in Scotland, it also includes information on the Scottish Government’s plans to merge BTP Scotland into Police Scotland.

Topics: Police, Railways

Transport in Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland
Published Monday, June 12, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN03156
This paper explains how transport has been devolved from Westminster to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It gives information on those areas which remain reserved to Westminster and where you can find more information about devolved policies.
Transport 2017: FAQ for new MPs
Published Monday, June 12, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7954
This paper sets out answers to commonly asked questions by Members of Parliament about various aspects of transport policy, usually related to constituency issues.
Brexit: how will it affect transport?
Published Monday, June 12, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7633
This Commons Library briefing paper discusses some of the pertinent issues in the four main transport policy areas: aviation, railways, roads and road-based public transport, and maritime. It will be updated and expanded as more information is published and new issues emerge.
Cyber Security of UK Infrastructure
Published Tuesday, May 2, 2017 | POSTnotes POST-PN-0554
The Government has identified ‘cyber’ as one of six Tier 1 threats to UK national security. This POSTnote focuses on the cyber security of the UK’s critical national infrastructure, describing measures to improve cyber security and challenges in implementing them. It also reviews the new National Cyber Security Strategy, along with international policy and legislation.
EU Agencies and post-Brexit options
Published Friday, April 28, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers CBP-7957
What are EU agencies and what do they do? Will the UK be able to participate in their activities after Brexit? And what will happen to the two that are based in the UK? This paper looks at the roles and functions of EU agencies, the issues surrounding the two UK-based agencies, and whether there are options for continued UK participation after Brexit.
Crossrail 1 & 2
Published Wednesday, April 12, 2017 | Commons Briefing papers SN00876
This paper provides information on the two London rail projects Crossrail 1 (the Elizabeth Line) and Crossrail 2. The former is nearing completion; the second is in the planning stages.

Topic: Railways

Displaying 1-20 out of 121

About libraries

House of Commons Library

The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.

House of Lords Library

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.

POST

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology.

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