Rail is a vital industry for the UK, providing £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing some 600,000 people. The rail network brings communities together, moves goods across the country and allows businesses to thrive. With demand for rail passengers doubling over the past twenty years, it is important for the industry to engage with politicians and policy makers from across the political spectrum.
RIA works to represents the rail sector to key decision makers and influencers, highlighting issues of importance to our members, campaigning for sectoral growth and showcasing the value of rail to the UK.
We regularly engage with Parliamentarians in Westminster, with devolved administrations and regional bodies and with EU representatives in Brussels.
Find out more about the key issues facing rail
In February 2018,
RIA published The Economic Contribution
of UK Rail in response to concerns that the size and economic impact of the
rail industry was being under-reported.
ground-breaking report, developed by independent researchers Oxford Economics,
found that UK rail:
over £36bn annually to the UK economy (a greater economic impact than the food,
drink and tobacco manufacturing and the chemical and pharmaceutical
around 600,000 jobs (employing more people than the entire workforce of
£11bn annually in tax revenue; and
£2.20 of income from every £1 spent on the rail network.
Read the full report here
‘Boom and bust’ funding in the rail industry is having a
significant detrimental effect on the supply chain, leading to redundancies and
recruitment freezes, reductions in investment, threatening the ability of SMEs
to survive and adding up to 30% to rail industry costs.
RIA believes that the current five-year Control Period
funding system should be improved to smooth to stop ‘boom and bust’, whilst
ensuring there is not a return to annualised budgeting.
Find out more
Electrification remains the optimal form of traction for an
intensely used railway, as it has a number of benefits, including costing less
in the long term, reducing journey times, producing less wear on the track and
being more environmentally friendly.
However, the cost of electrification schemes have risen over
the past decade which is why in 2017 RIA launched a new cross-sector initiative
– the Electrification Cost Challenge – to investigate how the costs of
electrification can be reduced. An evidence based report will be published
following the Challenge in Summer 2018.
RIA urge the Government to keep an open mind and ensure
electrification remains ‘on the table’ as an option for future rail enhancements,
particularly if it seeks to decarbonise the rail network by 2040.
Find out more
RIA is working with the supply sector coalition, the Rail
Supply Group, to develop a Rail Sector Deal that provides a basis of
co-operation between the Government and the sector.
The Rail Sector Deal will seek to deliver transformational
change in the railways over a 20-year period, focusing on accelerating the
digital railway, enhancing customer experience, and delivering a sustainable UK
Find out more
RIA continues to support HS2 and Crossrail, but we also seek
to ensure support is maintained for Northern Powerhouse Rail, East West Rail
and Crossrail 2 – all of which will provide significant economic boosts across
the UK as well as improving connectivity and capacity.
Brexit poses a number of challenges and opportunities for
the rail industry.
Challenges include the
need for certainty on whether rail standards will be harmonised, diverged,
or a mixture of the two, ensuring there is continued access to certain a
skilled workforce and avoiding any overly bureaucratic tariff or non-tariff
barriers, which could cause border delays for exporting suppliers.
The main opportunity is the role of rail in trade deals.
Given the size and strategic significance of rail to UK plc it is important the
rail sector is included in – and takes advantage of – trade deals when the
Department for International Trade negotiates with non-EU and EU countries.
Find out more
RIA looks forward working with Network Rail in securing
opportunities for more third party funding for our railways. However, the Rail
Network Enhancements Pipelines (published in April 2018) does not include
‘construction ready’ schemes, which is likely to result in a significant
reduction in enhancements workload in the next few years.
RIA urges the Government to accelerate projects where
possible, ensuring that the level of enhancements in CP6 is at least equal to
that of CP5; and it needs to 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.
Our Commitment to
RIA is fully committed to ethical and transparent lobbying
and is a member of the Public Affairs Board of the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA).
All RIA employees involved in lobbying activities have signed the Public Affairs Code and attended training sessions.
Find out more about the Public Affairs Board here
RIA is also on the European Commission Transparency
Find out more about the register here