Press Release

Rail industry sets out top priorities for upcoming Spring Statement

21 March 2022

The Railway Industry Association (RIA), the voice of the UK rail supply community, has set out what it would like to see from the Chancellor's Spring Statement, taking place this Wednesday (23 March 2022).

Setting out the key priorities, Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: “The Treasury’s Spring Statement comes at a critical time for the rail sector. With passengers clearly returning, now is the time for Government to support the railway industry and the economic growth, jobs and investment it provides both now and in the longer-term.

“This means supporting the sector in a number of ways. First, the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline needs to be published now, to provide the sector with the visibility of upcoming work it needs to plan and invest. Secondly, there should be no hiatus in infrastructure and rolling stock work over the coming years, as the industry restructures to Great British Railways.

“Efforts to decarbonise the railway need to be accelerated, with a step-change in electrification and hydrogen and battery trains delivered to help the Government meet its Net Zero 2050 deadline. There needs to be a programme to roll out digital signalling, with 60% of signalling units requiring urgent replacement in the next 15 years. And we need to support rail suppliers to export overseas, reducing barriers to trade by ensuring rail is included prominently in Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

“Rail has a bright future, and with the right Government policy it can help lead the UK’s economic recovery. As Chancellor Rishi Sunak makes his statement on Wednesday, the opportunity really is there to make rail a central part of a sustainable economic recovery.”

Notes to Editors

 

  1. RIA will be issuing a response to the Spring Statement on Wednesday 23 March. A RIA spokesperson will be available for interviews and comment.
  2. 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). www.riagb.org.uk

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