RIA urges inclusion of electrification in Transport Decarbonisation Plan
On 26 March 2020, the Government has published a Policy Paper setting out how it will develop its Transport Decarbonisation Plan.
Now, during the coronavirus outbreak, it is a difficult time for the railway industry, but also Government and railway clients. So it is good to see the positive news that the Department for Transport is considering how it will decarbonise the UK transport network, with the publication of this Policy Paper today. It is particularly welcome to see that the Government ‘recognise that electrifying more of the railway is likely to be necessary’.
The rail industry is clear that, in order to decarbonise the network by 2040, a rolling programme of electrification is required, whilst utilising new technologies like hydrogen and battery on rural lines, or as an intermediary solution.
Whilst we await Network Rail’s Traction Decarbonisation Strategy, and the Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan, we urge the Government to bring forward electrification schemes before current projects around the UK are completed, so that the rail sector can avoid losing valuable expertise, skills and capability in delivering electrification.