RIA has published its submission to HM Treasury for the 2020 Spending Review process.
The UK railway network has and continues to be essential for the nation’s economy. During the height of the lockdown, the rail network enabled key workers and resources to get where they needed to be, and investment in the network will be essential to reboot the economy. The crisis has promoted closer collaboration between the Government, infrastructure clients and the supply chain and we recommend that this should continue in order to drive productivity improvements and unlock the full benefits of rail.
UK rail can act as an even greater catalyst for jobs and investment, at this vital time, but uncertainty about the future of the sector will limit the ability of rail suppliers to deliver growth. We understand that Government appetite to invest in the rail industry may be constrained by a perception that there is limited capacity within the supply chain. RIA would welcome the opportunity to discuss this challenge because our analysis has identified latent capacity and where pipelines are becoming clearer such as electrification and digital signalling we have been able to develop credible resourcing strategies. The Government can ensure greater certainty for the sector:
Renewals delivery should continue to be smoothed over CP6 with mechanisms put in place to ensure consistent delivery in CP7. The Government should support forward visibility of expenditure profiling and open data and consider greater access to track, as set out in the Rail Supply Group’s ‘Act Now’ Report.
Rail should be a central plank of Government’s plans to ‘build back better’ and instead of holding off investment, we urge you to accelerate rail projects, which will help deliver a rail network ready for the future, providing a modern, safe and low carbon mode of transport, enhancing connectivity and supporting active travel, boosting our exports offer and providing much needed employment and investment for communities across the UK.
16 Smith Square
© Railway Industry Association Great Britain 2021