RIA: Enhancements Clock – 1 year and 111 days have passed since last RNEP announcement

 

8 February 2021

Today marks 1 year and 111 days since the last date the Government gave an update on its list of upgrade projects in the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline (RNEP). 
 
Whilst we understand the Coronavirus pandemic has made things incredibly difficult for everyone, including of course those in Government, the supply sector is respectfully asking Government to publish an update on where things stand with the RNEP, so that railway businesses have the visibility to plan for whatever future work is going to be in the short to medium term pipeline, at what is clearly an uncertain time for the industry. 
 
RIA’s Enhancements Clock has tracked the time taken since the Department for Transport published the list of projects back in October 2019 – and it is now 1 year and 111 days since the list was last updated on 21 October 2019. At the time, the DfT also promised to publish the list on an annual basis. 
 
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “The Railway  Industry Association and our members are concerned another milestone has passed on publishing an update of the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline list. Whilst we are not doubting the support the Government has given the industry over the past year, and we of course recognise the huge impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, rail businesses are simply calling for no more than visibility on the Government’s thinking on upcoming projects, following repeated commitments to keep the supply sector updated on their progress. This is not about budget, it is simply a call for clarity on future work, whatever that thinking is.
 
“It has been 1 year and 111 days since progress on the RNEP was last published. These schemes – including new tracks or electrification of routes – are vital in ensuring the rail industry not just builds the world-class railway of the future but also supports current jobs, investment and economic growth at an essential time for the economy, as the network gets ready for when passengers return post-Coronavirus. 
 
“2020 saw the Minister and the DfT engaging really positively with the railway industry, and UK rail welcomes the Government’s support to keep the network running through the pandemic. We urge the Government to continue this constructive engagement with rail, and to let us know it’s thinking on the RNEP as soon as possible.”

 
Notes to Editors

 

  1. The Rail Network Enhancement Pipeline (RNEP) is a list of rail upgrade projects planned by the Government. The Government published the list in October 2019, following RIA launching its ‘Rail Enhancements Clock’ showing the number of days that had passed since the Government had promised to publish the list. Visibility of the list is important to the rail industry in ensuring it can plan, invest and prepare for upcoming work. The Rail Enhancements Clock can be found here and the last publication of the RNEP can be found here.
  2. On 16 September 2020, in response to a Parliamentary Question, the Rail Minister confirmed that the list will be published on “an annual basis” and that “an update of this will be published following the Spending Review." 
  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.

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