Press Release

Rail industry responds to NIC Infrastructure Progress Review 2022

16 March 2022

The National Infrastructure Commission has published a progress review of the Government's National Infrastructure Strategy, setting out what progress has been made and the priorities for the year, including in rail.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “The National Infrastructure Commission is right to highlight the need for long term planning and clear funding commitments in rail, both of which are essential in building confidence in the supply sector and allowing it to deliver cost effectively, to time and to budget.

“Whilst the Integrated Rail Plan has offered more certainty to the rail industry, there is still further work to be done. In particular, the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline – the list of rail upgrades planned over the coming years, including many of the projects in the Integrated Rail Plan – is still yet to be published, almost 900 days since the Government promised to. If the rail industry is going to have the clarity of future work the NIC mentions, it is vital the RNEP is published urgently.”
Notes to Editors

  1. The Infrastructure Progress Review can be found here and the accompanying press release here. The Infrastructure Progress Review sets out the following on rail:

    "The Integrated Rail Plan is a concrete plan to deliver major long-term investments to improve rail for the north and midlands in the face of public spending constraints and demonstrates a genuine commitment to change on interurban transport. However, progress is less positive on the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford growth Arc.

    Taking a long term perspective: Yes. The Integrated Rail Plan considered the next 30 years and The Spatial Framework for the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Growth Arc is an important step and is needed to provide certainty to stakeholders on the direction of the Arc’s development.
  • Clear goals and concrete plans to achieve them: Yes. The Integrated Rail Plan is a realistic plan, that takes an adaptive approach, and includes a set of strategic objectives and a timeline for when they should to be achieved. The plan for the Arc is less clear. East West Rail presents a major growth opportunity for the arc and government must continue with all phases of the delivery plan.
  • Firm funding commitment: Yes. Significant funding has been allocated through the Integrated Rail Plan for the North and the Midlands and to East-West Rail; however, government is yet to commit to funding the full route.
  • Genuine commitment to change: Yes. The Integrated Rail Plan sets out the ambition to level up opportunity across the country and transform connectivity and is the largest public investment in Britain’s rail network.
  • Action on the ground: Not applicable. As the Integrated Rail Plan has only recently been published, there is not yet any change in infrastructure for the Commission to assess."

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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