Railway industry urges greater clarity for upcoming projects in response to the Budget

3 March 2021

Today Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP presented the Spring Budget, setting out a number of policies as the UK looks to an economic recovery post-Coronavirus.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: “It is good to see the Chancellor clarify a number of the Government’s plans for infrastructure, including the establishment of a UK Infrastructure Bank based in Leeds and the £4.8 billion ‘Levelling Up’ Fund opening for infrastructure around the UK. It is also positive to see funding announced for test track facilities at a new Global Centre for Rail Excellence in Wales – the UK vitally requires more test track facilities, and the Centre will help deliver a new cluster for the industry in the region, supporting jobs and investment. We would hope that all rail businesses – whether related to rolling stock or infrastructure, and whether large or SME – benefit in some way from these announcements.
“However the Chancellor himself said in his speech that “for business, certainty matters”, and with today marking 500 days since the Rail Network Enhancement Pipeline was last published, we would once again urge the Government to provide the rail sector with visibility of upcoming rail schemes, so crucial to the UK developing a world-class network for the future. This is not about seeking more budget; rail suppliers simply need the updated pipeline of rail upgrades to be published, along with the Integrated Rail Plan and the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, to help them build up capabilities and skills, support investment and, ultimately support jobs at this very difficult time for everyone. 

“With every pound spent on the railway generating £2.20 GVA in the wider economy, being open about – and progressing – the rail enhancements pipeline not only benefits the railway industry but also ensures the UK can deliver new rail infrastructure much more efficiently and cost-effectively for the taxpayer, helping the country to build back better following the Coronavirus pandemic."

Notes to Editors


  1. The Budget can be found here
  2. More information about the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline 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 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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