Rail industry responds to the Autumn Budget 2018

29 October 2018

Today, the Chancellor delivered the Autumn Budget, announcing:

  • A further £37 million to support the development of Northern Powerhouse Rail;
  • £20 million to develop a strategic outline business case for East West Rail;
  • £291 million to unlock 18,000 new homes in East London through improvements to the Docklands Light Railway;
  • That the Transforming Cities Fund would be increased to £2.4 billion;
  • On Crossrail 2, the Government said it would consider the recommendations of the Independent Affordability Review and will consider the case for the project in the Spending Review.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “On major projects, we welcome today’s commitment in the Budget to Northern Powerhouse Rail,  East West Rail and the Docklands Light Railway, all of which are vital and will unlock economic growth, investment and jobs in different regions of the country. We urge the Government to move at similar speed on Crossrail 2, and to set out its response to the Independent Affordability Review as soon as possible, in order for the project to progress at pace.
“The Railway Industry Association (RIA)  is concerned that the Government did not use this opportunity to deliver on the key asks of the rail industry, namely smoothing out ‘boom and bust’ rail funding, providing a visible pipeline of enhancements, ensuring electrification remains on the table when decarbonising the rail network, providing match-funding for rolling stock R&D in Control Period 6 and ensuring the Rail Review does not stall investment in the rail network.

“RIA will continue to campaign on these issues, and calls on the Government to engage with the industry to ensure the rail supply community can deliver the best rail network possible.”

Notes to Editors
  1. The Autumn Budget documents can be found here.
  2. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the representative body for UK-based suppliers to the UK and world-wide railways. It has more than 220 companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight set to grow significantly too.  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). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry.

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