Rail industry responds to the Government’s Clean Air Strategy

14 January 2019

Today, the Government published its Clean Air Strategy.

Responding to the Strategy, David Clarke, Technical Director of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) said: “We welcome the publication of the Clean Air Strategy today, setting out how a number of industries, including the rail sector, can reduce air pollution. Rail is already a clean mode of transport, but more can be done to reduce emissions of noxious gases and particulates.

"We are particularly pleased to see the Government support electrification, “where it delivers passenger benefits and value for money”, as a key part of reducing exposure to pollutants. At the Railway Industry Association (RIA), we have been working with partner organisations from across the industry on our Electrification Cost Challenge, to see how we can deliver cost-effective electrification for intensively used routes.

“Electrification is a vital part of the train-traction mix – alongside emerging technologies, like hydrogen, battery, trimodes and bimodes. It will be an essential part of achieving the Government’s goal of removing diesel-only trains from the network by 2040, because it is the most efficient and practical non-diesel solution for high speed and high tonnage routes.

“We look forward to working with Government to ensure we further reduce air pollutants from rail transport, for the benefit of all who use and work on our railways.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The Government’s Air Quality Strategy can be found here.
  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. We promote and represent our members’ interests to policy makers, clients and other stakeholders in the UK and overseas. RIA has 240+ 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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