Union Connectivity Review Response

11 January 2021


This is RIA's response to the Union Connectivity Review 'call for evidence'.

Executive Summary

RIA's response to the Union Connectivity Review sets out the following recommendations:

  •  Recommendation 1: That the Union connectivity Review should recognise the full value and potential of rail sector to support passenger and freight connectivity, zero carbon, economic growth, levelling up and skills development.  
  • Recommendation 2: Publish the Integrated Rail Plan for the North and ensure that the Union Connectivity Review builds on these plans to develop a new national strategic transport network maximising the potential that rail offers. This will enable the development of clear 30-year investment plans for infrastructure and rolling stock, thereby maximising the benefits of investment for the UK nations as part of the new strategic transport network 
  • Recommendation 3: Support multi-year funding settlements for devolved Government transport bodies, in order to enable them to work with the supply chain to deliver local and integrated priorities effectively. Involve the private sector, to help develop creative funding and financing models, building on the lessons from regulated asset base financing, and performance-based build/lease/operate models and plans for the new Investment Bank alternative and co-funding models. 
  • Recommendation 4: Ensure rail is at the heart of Government thinking on transport, including this Union Connectivity Review and the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, in order to unlock the full benefits of rail, and enable effective planning and investment. This should include early decisions on electrification, hydrogen and battery technologies, and digital  rail –  and deliver a zero carbon transport system which is cost-effective and efficient for passengers and freight, and which supports the levelling up and exports agendas.  
 

The Response

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