RIA calls for clarity on how industry structure plans can help rail ‘build back better’

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The Railway Industry Association, the national trade body for rail suppliers, has urged the government for clarity on where the rail industry fits into the ‘build back better’ plans.

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) said: “The Government’s Spending Review offers an opportunity to place rail at the heart of the ‘Build Back Better’ agenda. To do so the sector needs clarity and certainty on how the industry will change over the coming years, and future investment plans.

He adds: “We are yet to see the much awaited Williams Review White Paper, and it has now been a year since the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline was last updated, giving rail businesses visibility of what upgrade projects are being planned.

“Rail can support the UK’s economic recovery, but to do so it needs clear direction from Government.”

The RIA has previously called on clarity from the government, and insisted on being involved in Brexit negotiations.

Other industry bodies including Logistics UK which represents members from the road, rail, sea, and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers, has also previously urged the government to support businesses throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

Caplan adds: “The supply chain does have capacity which is not currently being used, so our sector is offering a solution to the Government not a problem. If the Government acts urgently on this, the results will be seen for the next five years, at a time when rebooting UK plc, its economy and transport infrastructure connectivity, will be of the highest priority.

“As we face the challenge of decarbonising and digitalising our train fleet, it is more vital than ever that the industry come together to develop a long term plan for rolling stock investment, that gets the balance right between refurbished and new trains.”

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