David Cameron announces arrival of free Wi-Fi on trains from 2017

Thursday 12th February 2015

David Cameron has announced the roll-out of free Wi-Fi on trains from 2017.

Responding to Maria Miller, the former culture secretary, who said passengers were frustrated by poor Wi-Fi on rail services, Cameron told MPs that it was “vital for businesses and for individuals to be able to access Wi-Fi and do their work and all other contact while they are on trains”.

He said: “I am pleased to announce plans that will see the rollout of free Wi-Fi on trains across the United Kingdom from 2017. The government will invest nearly £50m to ensure that rail passengers are better connected.”

Cameron said the investment would benefit passengers with four rail operators – TSGN, Southeastern, Chiltern and Arriva Trains Wales – covering more than 500m journeys a year.

The investment will be funded from £50m fines imposed by the Office of Rail Regulation on Network Rail in July 2014 for the late running of services.

Gordons Transport expert, Sheena Pickersgill, says “That is good news for passengers. Being able to continue to keep in touch by accessing WIFI whilst travelling is important and improves the passenger experience. It is a pity, however, that the benefits are being restricted to four rail operators across the UK. Let’s hope that the benefits are shared with more rail operators in the future.”

Click here to read the related news story featured on the Guardian, 11 February 2015.