Rail industry calls for greater certainty over enhancements
Today, the Department for Transport has published the Rail Network Enhancements
Pipeline (RNEP), setting out a new process for infrastructure upgrades on the UK’s railways.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, responded to the
“Last autumn the Railway Industry Association welcomed the £48bn announced for
operations, maintenance and renewals funding for 2019 to 2024, but made it clear that
without necessary enhancements, the rail network would be unable to keep up with future
demand. So whilst we welcome the Government’s support for individual market led schemes,
such as a new southern rail link to Heathrow Airport, the announcement does not maintain
the funding for enhancements overall to at least current levels, which are required to ensure
the rail supply chain can continue improving services and increasing capacity. This is clearly a
concern for our members.
“We also note from the announcement that new rail schemes are now to be decided in a
staged approach. However, it is disappointing that the pipeline released today has no
construction ready schemes which is likely to result in a significant reduction in enhancements
workload in the next few years. We would therefore urge the Government, to accelerate
projects where possible and give the rail sector longer-term visibility and certainty on the
enhancements pipeline of work for 2019-2024, so that suppliers can plan and invest.
“Regarding the Hansford Review recommendations on third party investment into the
railway, we agree with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling that the knowledge and expertise
of private funding should be increasingly used to deliver enhanced rail connectivity, ultimately
benefiting both passengers and taxpayers. We urge both the DfT and Network Rail to
implement all of Professor Hansford’s recommendations and welcome today’s Call for Ideas
as a step towards greater contestability in the rail market”.
Note to Editors
- The Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline can be found here
- The Hansford Review report can be found here and Network Rail’s response can be found here.
- 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. www.riagb.org.uk