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:
- Monday 8 March: Rail in Scotland, 2 – 4pm
Speakers include Bill Reeve, Transport Scotland; Sara Thiam, Scottish Council for Development and Industry (invited); & Shona Clive, Scottish Rail Cluster (invited).
- Tuesday 9 March: Rail in London, 10am – 12pm
Speakers include Jonathan Baggs, Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) London; Laura Osborne, London First; Rob Dickin, Transport for the South East; & TfL Senior Representative (invited).
- Wednesday 10 March: Rail in the Midlands, 10am – 12pm
Speakers include: Maria Machancoses, Midlands Connect; Tim Smart, HS2 (invited); & a senior Network Rail representative.
- Thursday 11 March: Rail in the North, held in partnership with Northern Rail Industry Leaders (NRIL), 10am – 12pm
Speakers include: Tim Wood, Transport for the North; Henri Murison, Northern Powerhouse Partnership; Debbie Francis OBE, Arcadis; & Justin Moss, Northern Rail Industry Leaders.
- Friday 12 March: Rail in Wales, 10am – 12pm
Speakers include: Professor Mark Barry, Professor of Practice in Connectivity; Mike Gallop, Network Rail Wales & Western; Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commission for Wales (invited); & Senior Representative, Transport for Wales.
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.”