Rail industry responds to Transport for the North’s budget 

15 January 2021

The Railway Industry Association, the trade body for the UK rail supply community, and Northern Rail Industry Leaders (NRIL), which represents Northern rail businesses, have responded to the publication of budget documents following Transport for the North’s Board Meeting.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “The uncertainty around Transport for the North’s budget, and investment level for schemes like Northern Powerhouse Rail, will not help rail suppliers who are looking to plan and prepare for future work to deliver. We crucially need to see the publication of the Integrated Rail Plan soon so members of the rail supply industry have the visibility they need to invest efficiently and effectively.
“In these difficult times we understand that there is a need to secure value for money for taxpayers, but we should not let rail investment be held up for what are, after all, long-term major projects. The Government’s ‘build back better’, green, levelling-up, agenda needs to include rail, which will also help support thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of GVA at a time when the UK economy desperately needs its industrial sectors to boost growth, in all parts of the country.”
Justin Moss and Mike Hulme, Co-Chairs of Northern Rail Industry Leaders (NRIL), said: “The North’s rail industry stands ready to deliver Trans Pennine Route Upgrade, HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, the digitalisation and decarbonisation of the network and much more, for the benefit of those who use the railway network. But these businesses do need Government to be clear about its policies and intentions, so it is vital the Integrated Rail Plan is published as swiftly as possible. The greater the visibility for rail businesses, the even more we can provide the region, in terms of efficient delivery, skills, innovation and investment.”

Notes to Editors

  1. More information about the announcement can be found here
  2. About Northern Rail Industry Leaders (NRIL): NRIL brings together businesses to help develop and support the rail industry in the region, and which includes 150 rail organisations in the North of England. In 2019 it published a ‘Building the North’s New Railways’ Report, which looks at how rail suppliers, Transport for the North (TfN), Government and key rail organisations can work together to deliver the best for the region through rail investment. www.northernrailleaders.com
  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. www.riagb.org.uk

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