Railway industry welcomes new report showing 29% increase in regional rail use in past decade

26 July 2019


The Urban Transport Group has published it’s Number Crunch 2019 statistical release, showing that regional rail use has increased by 29% since 2008/09, hitting 389 million in 2017/18.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “This report is a timely reminder of the Railway Industry Association’s repeated assertions of the need to urgently grow the UK’s rail network through supporting major rail projects and enhancement schemes. The report shows that the number of people using regional rail has increased dramatically in the last 10 years all over the country, and that where there has been investment in rail, growth has been more pronounced. 

“With passenger and freight usage of the rail network set to increase further over the next 10 years, the Government - under new Prime Minister Boris Johnson and new Transport Secretary Grant Shapps - needs to turbocharge its efforts to increase rail capacity. It needs to commit to delivering major rail infrastructure projects like Crossrail, HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, Transpennine Route Upgrade East West Rail, Midlands Rail Hub and Crossrail 2. And it needs to publicly announce this summer the next tranche of enhancement upgrades, which the Government’s own guidance published in February tells it to do - clearly stating that there is now “a new expectation that all central government departments will publish their commercial pipelines” to “help suppliers to understand the government’s long term demand for services and prepare themselves to respond to contract opportunities.”

Notes to Editors

  1. Urban Transport Groups’ Number Crunch 2019 can be found here. The rail chapter can be found on Page 20.
  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. We promote and represent our members’ interests to policy makers, clients and other stakeholders in the UK and overseas. RIA has 280+ 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. www.riagb.org.uk

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