22 March 2021
The Railway Industry Association (RIA), the trade body for the UK rail supply community, has responded to the extension of Transport for London’s funding settlement.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: “It is welcome to see financial support extended for Transport for London until 18 May, which should ensure rail services continue to operate and shows a commitment from both the Government and Mayor of London to support rail during and following the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Nevertheless, as we emerge from this pandemic, rail businesses all over the UK who work on rail schemes in and around the capital will require certainty over what the future looks like. This is why the Railway Industry Association and our members would like to see longer term, multi-year, funding settlements – similar to Network Rail’s five-year Control Period system - for all regions and devolved nations around the UK.
“RIA is bullish about rail passengers returning to the network over the coming years, as they always do following recessions and various crises, including pandemics. But during this time, before passenger numbers return to longer-term trend, rail suppliers need funding certainty and visibility to support the capital’s railway network, and ensure current schemes, and future ones like Crossrail and Crossrail 2, get delivered efficiently and cost-effectively, benefiting passengers, freight, and ultimately the taxpayer. We therefore urge the Government and TfL to work together to find a long term solution for rail funding in and around the capital – doing so supports rail jobs and growth not only in London, but throughout the whole of the UK.”