RIA Devolution Week launches to discuss and promote key rail issues ahead of elections


8 February 2021


The Railway Industry Association (RIA), the national trade body for the rail supply community, has launched a ‘Devolution Week’ involving a series of events to bring together key decision makers in the nations and regions of the UK with the railway industry. The week will be used to discuss  and promote the main rail issues of the day ahead of the devolved national and regional elections in May.
The week, running from 8 to 12 March 2021, will involve an event each day looking at a different area where elections will be taking place – Scotland, London, the North (held in partnership with Northern Rail Industry Leaders), the Midlands and Wales. The sessions will be followed by a workshop for the rail supply chain to feed in their thoughts to RIA’s various election manifestos around the country.

The agenda for RIA’s Devolution Week includes:

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “The devolved regional and national elections taking place in Scotland, London, the Midlands, North and Wales this year offers the chance for UK rail to strongly make the case for its role in leading the economic bounceback post-Coronavirus. Across the country, we will see new policy makers elected or re-elected who will be pivotal in deciding the future of our railway system, so it is vital the rail industry comes together to make the case for continued support and for the jobs, investment and GVA we can drive in return. 
“RIA’s Devolution Week offers the opportunity for rail businesses to hear from leading decision makers in each nation and region, and to feed into RIA’s devolved lobbying work through a series of workshops, exclusive to rail supply businesses. We hope representatives from rail suppliers large and small can join us for what we hope will be an informative week of events!”
Mike Hulme and Justin Moss, Co-Chairs of Northern Rail Industry Leaders (NRIL), said: “The coming years are a critical time for the North of England, with the need to generate an economic recovery and welcome passengers back post-Coronavirus, to decarbonise the transport industry and deliver the new connections and infrastructure the region so vitally needs. The North’s rail businesses can play a central role in supporting the region, so it is great to have this opportunity for rail businesses to come together, hear from key decision makers and to feed into NRIL’s upcoming manifesto on what the Northern rail supply chain would like to see from the mayoral elections.” 

Notes to Editors


  1. Find out more here - journalists are welcome to attend and can sign up by emailing max.sugarman@riagb.org.uk

  2. RIA’s Devolution Week is open to all, but the workshops held after each panel session will be exclusively for RIA members (with the Thursday workshop open to NRIL members too).

  3. 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 £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 vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK. 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. www.riagb.org.uk

  4. About NRIL: NRIL brings together businesses to help develop and support the rail industry in the region, and which includes 150 rail organisations in the North of England. In 2019 it published a ‘Building the North’s New Railways’ Report, which looks at how rail suppliers, Transport for the North (TfN), Government and key rail organisations can work together to deliver the best for the region through rail investment. www.northernrailleaders.com

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