RIA: Government has 10 Days to avoid a ‘Summer of Uncertainty’ for the railway industry

12 July 2021

With only ten days left before Parliament goes into recess, the Railway Industry Association – the voice of the UK rail supply community – is urging the Government to publish a number of rail investment strategies, in order to avoid a ‘Summer of Uncertainty’ for rail businesses.

With the House of Commons rising for the Summer recess on 22 July 2021, the Government has three key strategies that are vital to providing certainty for rail businesses:

  • The Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline, a list of upcoming rail upgrades which has not been updated in more than a year;
  • The Integrated Rail Plan for the Midlands and North, providing an update on Government’s plans for projects like HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and Midlands Rail Hub; and
  • The Transport Decarbonisation Plan, setting out how the Government plans to achieve a Net Zero transport sector by 2050.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said:
“The rail industry greatly appreciates the support the Government has given over the past 18 months, allowing our railways to move key workers and resources around the UK, and support the economy, during the pandemic.

“However, as we emerge from pandemic restrictions, rail businesses currently have little visibility of the Government’s investment plans, impacting their ability to plan and invest in skills and capability for the future. The Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline – a list of upcoming rail upgrades, which the Government promised to update annually – has not been published for more than 630 days. Similarly, we are yet to see the Integrated Rail Plan or the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, both of which are vital in setting out Government’s priorities for rail projects across the UK.

“With only 10 days until Parliament rises for Summer recess, RIA and our members urge the Government to avoid creating a ‘Summer of Uncertainty’ for rail businesses and to publish these long-awaited strategies. By doing so, the sector will be much better prepared to support the economic recovery from Coronavirus, and boost green jobs, investment and economic growth across the country.”

Notes to Editors


RIA’s key campaigns:

  • RIA Enhancements Clock: RIA has been calling for the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline – a list of planned rail projects – to be published. The Rail Enhancements Clock (available here) counts the number of days since the RNEP was last published, and currently stands at over 1 year and 260 days.
  • Integrated Rail Plan: Industry Leaders representing some 72,000 employees called on the Prime Minister to deliver greater connectivity between the North and the Midlands. Read the letter here. 
  • RailDecarb21 Campaign: RIA’s RailDecarb21 campaign is calling for a specific commitment to decarbonise the rail network from Government, through further electrification work and fleet orders of low carbon, self-powered rolling stock, ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) taking place in Glasgow in November 2021. Find out more here

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. We promote and represent our members’ interests to policy makers, clients and other stakeholders in the UK and overseas. RIA has 300+ 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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