Rail Industry responds to Queen’s Speech; calls for HS2 to be delivered in full

 

11 May 2021

The Railway Industry Association (RIA), the voice of the UK rail supply community, has responded to the Queen’s Speech.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “The Queen’s Speech today confirmed the long-awaited Williams Review White Paper on rail reform will be published shortly and, encouragingly, that investing in and improving national infrastructure to transform connectivity – and creating new jobs and skills to drive growth in sectors such as rail – is seen by the Government as key to strengthening economic ties across the UK.

“However, whilst HS2 is described today as being at the heart of the country’s plans to build back better from Coronavirus, the Queen’s Speech omits any reference to the Eastern Leg of the scheme, which takes the high speed network to Leeds. We therefore urge the Government to clarify whether the Eastern Leg will be included in forthcoming legislation, with the publication of the Integrated Rail Plan for the Midlands and North a priority.

“As a recent survey conducted by RIA and the High Speed Rail Group showed, not only do towns, cities and communities across the country depend on the full HS2 route to be delivered in full, but many businesses do too. To ‘build back better’ and level-up all parts of the UK, it is essential HS2 is delivered in its entirety alongside other key rail projects – otherwise we risk missing out on the jobs, investment and economic growth that rail can unleash in the post pandemic years ahead.”

Notes to Editors

 

  1. The Queen’s Speech can be found here and the accompanying Government briefing note here
  2. RIA and HSRG’s survey of rail suppliers and the benefits of HS2 can be found here
  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 some 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.
     

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