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.”