Our Policy Work

The RIA Policy Team aim to influence public policy, build and maintain a strong industry reputation and find common ground with stakeholders, including politicians, civil servants, clients, other trade associations, think tanks, business groups and the media.

We do this by explaining and promoting industry views on policy issues, assisting policy makers and legislators in amending or laying down better policy and regulation, and providing statistical and factual information on issues which could impact upon the industry's ability to operate successfully. 

This involves producing briefing papers, responses to Government and other consultations, including those issued by the rail regulator, and submitting evidence to Select Committee inquiries. Additionally, to support policy making, we commission leading edge research, such as the report on ‘The Economic Contribution of UK Rail 2018’. 


RIA commissions leading edge research to support policy making. Most recently, we appointed independent economic consultancy, Oxford Economics, to undertake an assessment of ‘The Economic Contribution of UK Rail’. The report shows that rail is a more important industry for the prosperity of the UK than previously thought. Rail provides £36 billion a year to economic growth, £11 billion in tax revenue, and employs some 600,000 people. For every £1 spent on the rail industry a further £2.20 is generated in the wider economy.

Find the report here

The current system of 5 yearly control period funding has led to a ‘boom and bust’ cycle of work that adversely impacts the rail supply chain. This cycle has meant rail supply businesses have had to ramp activity up at the start of a five yearly control period, only to ramp down towards the end of the control period. This is inefficient, can add up to 30% to costs and threatens the sustainability of the rail supply industry. RIA submitted evidence to the Transport Select Committee inquiry on rail infrastructure funding at the end of 2017, which set out a range of scenarios for change to the current system. RIA also gave oral evidence to the Committee earlier this year. Fundamentally, RIA is calling for a wider industry and Government discussion on ways to improve the current funding system, while recognising this is a significant improvement to the annualised budgeting operated under British Rail. We are seeking to evolve the current system to deliver more stable and efficient development of the UK railway network to the benefit of passengers and UK taxpayers.

To view RIA’s submission to the Transport Select Committee click here

As part of the Industrial Strategy, the Government is working with industries in a number of sectors to reach agreement on sector-specific issues. These ‘sector deals’ are partnerships between the Government and industry, which can create significant opportunities to boost productivity, employment, innovation and skills. A sector deal for rail is being developed on behalf of the industry by the Rail Supply Group (RSG), which is a broad coalition of representatives from business and Government. RIA is working alongside the RSG to develop a rail deal. The proposal focuses on three main areas: the Digital Railway; data to enhance the customer experience; and a sustainable supply industry. This provides an opportunity to transform the railway and enable the UK’s supply chain to become truly world-leading.

RIA has produced a Brexit position paper with four key asks. These are: clear and consistent technical standards, smooth cross border trade, access to skills and the inclusion of rail in trade deals.

Read RIA's Brexit Position Paper:



Policy Library

RIA influence Government policy at local, national and European level by promoting members' priorities from a strong evidence base to inform key decision-makers and opinion-formers. RIA represent the interests of members at all stages in the policy development cycle and regularly succeed in effecting significant change.

In this section, you can view and download a range of RIA's public policy documents. Please note, some policy documents and briefings are exclusive to RIA Members and can be found in the Member Area.

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More at RIA

Brexit and its impact on the rail industry

Find out what RIA is doing to prepare its Members for Brexit.

Read More

The economic value of rail to the UK

Research by RIA has shown rail contributes £36 billion to the economy and supports 600,000 jobs.

Read More

Talk to us

Railway Industry Association

22 Headfort Place

+44 (0)20 7201 0777

RIA is a company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales Reg. No. 10036044