Railway industry welcomes Liberal Democrats’ ideas on rail decarbonisation, digitalisation and major projects

17 September 2019


Today, at their Party Conference in Bournemouth, the Liberal Democrats voted to approve Motion F38, setting out their policy to develop ‘railways fit for the 21st Century’.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “With the party conferences season upon us, it is good to see what the various political parties have to say about UK rail policy. Today, the Lib Dems have announced a number of interesting and welcome ideas, including decarbonising rail through electrification and introducing new battery and hydrogen technologies, rolling out modern digital signalling across the network, and committing to major projects like Crossrail 1 and 2, HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.

“Of course, to deliver these policies the Lib Dems would also need to commit to consistency of upcoming work, ending ‘boom and bust’ in rail funding, and implementing our recently-launched SURE ‘ask’, to Show Us the Rail Enhancements, so we have better visibility of upgrade projects.

“We now look forward to hearing what Labour and then the Conservatives have to say about the rail industry at their respective party conferences in the coming weeks too.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Motion F38 on “Building Railways Fit for the 21st Century 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 280+ 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. www.riagb.org.uk

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