RIA Scotland welcomes rail decarbonisation funding commitment and the potential private investment in Scottish infrastructure
RIA Scotland has welcomed two key announcements by the Scottish Government.
Transport Minister - Fiona Hyslop has confirmed £140m funding for the East Kilbride Enhancement Project which will mean a more reliable and zero-carbon train service for passengers. The rail supply chain has a good delivery record in Scotland and is working closely with Scotland’s Railway to innovate and continuously improve. Key to efficient delivery is a rolling programme of electrification which allows skills to be retained and developed. However the pace and consistency of a rolling programme is inevitably driven by funding availability.
It was therefore welcome to hear the First Minister of Scotland - Humza Yousaf when presenting the Programme for Government- saying: “A key focus in the year ahead will be to work across the public and private sectors to drive forward agreed recommendations from the Investor Panel on how we attract private investment for large scale infrastructure projects and use public spending more effectively to crowd in private capital”.
RIA have consistently called for more consideration of opportunities for private investment in railway infrastructure and in March this year produced a report named, ‘How can the UK railways secure more private investment?’. This report identified four key challenges and put four key asks to UK Government. The paper has been written following input from members and stakeholders from other industries, such as energy and water, and calls for a clear policy on rail and private investment.
David Clarke, RIA Scotland Director said, “RIA Scotland welcomes the confirmation of full funding for the East Kilbride Enhancement Project as the latest step towards the ambition to decarbonise Scotland's Railway by 2035. We hope this is a step towards funding of the next stages of the Decarbonisation Action Plan. This project will enhance a key transport corridor, providing a more reliable, more inclusive, and greener railway. We also welcome First Minister Humza Yousaf's statement in the Programme for Government that a 'key focus' will be on attracting private finance into infrastructure projects. The rail supply chain is committed to cost effective project delivery and RIA Scotland look forward to engaging in the conversation about the role private investment can play in Scotland’s Railway.”