Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP gives opening remarks to Rail Project SPEED Conference

27 February 2021

 Yesterday, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP gave opening remarks to Rail Project SPEED Conference organised by the Railway Industry Association (RIA), Department for Transport and Network Rail.

During his speech, the Prime Minister thanked those in the rail industry for their work over the pandemic and backed a return to rail as the economy opens up, saying “good efficient mass transit systems are the great social and economic levellers and bringers of hope” as the economy seeks to bounceback post-lockdown.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: “The Prime Minister is right about the role rail will play post-Coronavirus.

“As lockdown restrictions are eased, people will be eager to travel whether to work, see friends and family, or simply to visit parts of the country they have been unable to go to over the past year.

“So we need a strong, effective, railway for when they return, which means continuing to invest in upgrading the network, which will also support the UK’s economy at such a critical time.” 

Notes to Editors


  1. The video can be found on YouTube 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. 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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