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Press Release

Ed Miliband states rail can ‘pave the way to net zero transport’ in visit to Doncaster’s Unipart Rail

26 October 2022

Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero Ed Miliband has backed innovation in the rail industry to help the sector decarbonise, calling innovation “essential to delivering Net Zero and creating a cleaner, greener Britain”.
The Shadow Climate Secretary’s comments were made following a visit by Miliband and fellow Doncaster MP Dame Rosie Winterton to local site Unipart Rail. Unipart is an important rail manufacturer and employer in Doncaster, working on innovative decarbonisation solutions, which were showcased to Miliband and Winterton during the day.
The visit took place at Unipart Rail’s headquarters in Doncaster, within the Technology and Innovation Hub, which was launched by the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN), the £92 million partnership between academia and industry, in September last year. 

Led by Unipart Rail, the hub is supporting both SMEs and the wider sector in translating academic research and innovation to solve strategic industry challenges, as well as driving the development of the next generation of products and services. 
The visit was part of RIA’s Rail Fellowship Programme, which matches politicians to rail sites relevant to their brief or in their constituency and brings the sector to life by providing them with a hands-on experience. Since its launch in 2018, the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme has grown rapidly, and there is now a waiting list of MPs interested in taking part. 
Shadow Secretary of State for Climate and Net Zero, and the MP for Doncaster North, Ed Miliband, said: “Rail is one of the cleanest modes of transport, but there is still more to be done to invest and innovate for the future. Industry is doing its bit, as I’ve seen with Unipart Rail in Doncaster. This innovation is essential to delivering Net Zero and creating a cleaner, greener Britain”.
MP for Doncaster Central Dame Rosie Winterton MP said: “Doncaster is a central hub for the railway industry, and Ed and I are proud to have had the opportunity to see it in action today. Rail is crucial for jobs, for livelihoods, and for creating a greener future for our children, not just in our local area but right across the country.
“Thank you to Unipart Rail for hosting us and to RIA for inviting me to join their Rail Fellowship Programme, which helps highlight the fantastic work of the supply chain.” 
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “Rail is vital in achieving net zero, and the industry stands ready to help deliver a low carbon transport future. We’d like to thank the Shadow Climate and Net-Zero Secretary Ed Miliband for highlighting this issue and offering his backing to industry’s innovation efforts.
“The RIA Rail Fellowship programme exists to showcase the railway industry to our politicians, and we were thrilled to welcome Ed Miliband, and Dame Rosie Winterton on board today. Thanks to both for working with us to showcase the value and power of the rail supply community.”

Professor Steve Ingleton, Engineering & Technology Director (Unipart Rail), said: “ We are delighted that the Shadow Climate and Net-Zero Secretary Ed Miliband and Rosie Winterton were able to visit our technology and innovation hub. Support for developing and delivering innovation into the rail sector is vital for modernisation of the network and working with our UKRRIN partners Unipart Rail is playing a leading role in its transformation.


Notes to Editors
  1. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has 300+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £43 billion in economic growth and £14 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 710,000 people. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK; for every £1 spent in rail, £2.50 is generated in the wider economy. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number).  
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