Spending Review: Rail Industry tells Government to be SURE: ‘Show Us the Rail Enhancements’

4 September 2019

Today, the Government unveiled its spending round, setting out Departmental Budgets for 2020/21. The Railway Industry Association (RIA), the national trade body for 290+ rail businesses, has become increasingly concerned that the Department for Transport still has not published its list of rail enhancements, or upgrades, either for this Financial Year or the years ahead.
So it is today launching its ‘Show Us the Rail Enhancements’ (SURE)’ initiative, to call – on behalf of the rail industry – for the Government to publish its planned enhancements now.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: “As the Government launches its Spending Round for the coming year, and looks towards a three-year Spending Review next year, the rail industry desperately needs to know what rail enhancements are planned. We have been calling on the DfT since late 2017 to set out its plans, and they have still not done so, despite the Government’s guidance, published just a few months ago, that every Government department should be open about its commercial procurement pipelines so that suppliers can plan for forthcoming projects. 
“Rail suppliers clearly need visibility of upcoming rail upgrades in order to deliver effectively. Not publishing shovel-ready projects in the pipeline means investment is reduced, jobs are lower than they otherwise would be, and upgrades become more expensive as the industry takes time to gear up for individual schemes. So today – as the Government published its spending across a number of sectors – we are asking the Government to follow its own advice, as set out by the Cabinet Office’s Outsourcing Playbook, and ‘Be SURE – Show Us the Rail Enhancements’.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The SURE campaign is a public affairs and comms campaign to engage Government, politicians, officials and stakeholders to make the case for visibility of enhancement projects as soon as possible.
  2. More information about the BE SURE Campaign can be found here.
  3. The Government’s Outsourcing Playbook, published in February 2019, says that there is now a “new expectation that all central government departments will publish their commercial pipelines” and that these changes “will help suppliers to understand the government’s long-term demand for services and prepare themselves to respond to contract opportunities”. The Playbook can be found here.
  4. 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. We promote and represent our members’ interests to policy makers, clients and other stakeholders in the UK and overseas. RIA has 240+ 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 growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight set to grow significantly too. 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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