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RIA response to Labour’s plans for UK rail

25 April 2024 


The Labour party has set out its plans for UK rail, ahead of the forthcoming General Election. These plans include:

  • Delivering a rail-experts led Great British Railways and new railways legislation early in the next Parliamentary session;
  • Providing a long-term strategy, which outlines the role of rail in economic growth, levelling-up, delivering an integrated transport network, and helping to achieve Net Zero; and
  • Seeking to deliver taxpayer value for money in rail.

Responding, RIA Chief Executive Darren Caplan, said: “It is important that the political parties set out their plans on what they would do if they won the forthcoming General Election, and so the Railway Industry Association welcomes the Labour party’s contribution to the debate on the future of UK rail.

“We welcome the pledge to make rail reform a priority early in the next parliament, which would give certainty to our members about the future structure of the railway industry, and also the commitment to a long-term strategy, which RIA has been calling for in recent years. It is also positive that rail is recognised as essential to economic growth, integrated transport connectivity, levelling up the nations and regions of the country, and in helping to deliver Net Zero; and that there is a need to deliver value for money for the taxpayer in rail.

“We now look forward to hearing others’ contribution to the debate on the future of rail.”

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 over 360 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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