Railway Industry Association responds to the Williams’ Rail Review Terms of Reference, published today

11 October 2018

The Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling today published the Terms of Reference for the Williams’ Rail Review in a Ministerial Statement.

Responding to the announcement, Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) said:

“The Railway Industry Association welcomes the publication of the Williams Review Terms of Reference today. We support the Review considering the role of devolution, how the rail industry should respond to future challenges, and the need to address long-term cost pressures.

“However, we remain concerned that fundamental issues relating to the UK railway are not being looked at in this Review. We therefore urge the Government to continue to work with the industry to smooth out ‘boom and bust’ in rail investment, which puts jobs and investment at risk, threatens the survival of SMEs and increases the cost of running the rail network by up to 30%.

“Similarly, the lack of reference to a visible pipeline of enhancement projects is also a concern. Without this pipeline, suppliers will not have the confidence to plan and invest, and there could be a hiatus in enhancement schemes in Control Period 6 meaning a possible loss of complex, specialist skillsets required to deliver them.

“RIA looks forward to engaging constructively with the Review. We ask, however, that the Review does not throw the rail industry into stasis, with a loss of work momentum and certainty for the supply chain. It is essential that normal business continues during the review, with decisions and investments taking place as normal – we must not simply put things on hold whilst the review is conducted”.

Notes to Editors
  1. The Williams Review Terms of Reference can be found here.
  2. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the trade association for UK-based suppliers to the UK and world-wide railways. It has some 200 companies in membership, in 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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