Rail Interview: Shadow Rail Minister Tan Dhesi MP calls for a long-term view for rail investment
Today, on the day the Government announced it wanted UK rail to move to a more simplified structure, Shadow Rail Minister Tan Dhesi MP told the Railway Industry Association and High Speed Rail Group’s Rail Interview at Labour Connected that a long term view was needed for rail investment following the Coronavirus pandemic.
In the event he:
- Called for rail investment to be sped up to generate an economic bounceback;
- Committed Labour to supporting HS2 in full; and
- Called for a rolling programme of electrification to decarbonise the rail network.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: “We welcome Shadow Rail Minister Tan Dhesi MP’s comments today on the need for long term investment in the rail industry.
“Before the Coronavirus outbreak, passenger numbers were at an all-time high, having doubled over the past 25 years. Numbers are already beginning to return as the economy restarts, and whilst the types of journey may change it is highly likely we will still need a clean, mass transit, rail system, with passengers likely to return to past levels, in the coming 20 to 30 years too. So we need to ensure we invest in our rail network, to make sure it is ready for the future, whilst delivering jobs and economic growth in towns and communities to spur an economic recovery. It was great to hear Tan Dhesi support investment in our railways in the Labour Connected Rail Interview today.
“Also today the Government announced changes to the franchising system, committing to new Emergency Recovery Management Agreements. The rail supply sector needs to understand how the Government intends to restructure UK rail, to ensure there is no hiatus in the railway industry’s work in building a world-class railway for the next 30 years. Rail businesses require certainty and confidence to invest, with a long term investment pipeline for both rolling stock and infrastructure, so we look forward to hearing more details when the Williams Rail Review is eventually published later this year.”