RIA welcomes continued Government support for rail reform legislation and Network Rail’s publishing of Strategic Business Plans for CP7
The Railway Industry Association (RIA) has welcomed Number 10’s re-commitment today to rail reform, and its confirmation that no decision has yet been made on legislation for the fourth session of this Parliament. This follows a letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on 9 May, signed by the Railway Industry Association and over 65 rail business leaders, calling for him to ensure legislation creating Great British Railways in this Parliament is enacted.
RIA has also welcomed today’s publication of Network Rail’s Strategic Business Plans for 2024-2029 in England and Wales, following their approval by the Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper. The Strategic Business Plans provide important details about Network Rail’s spending proposals over the next five-year period (Control Period 7, which commences April 2024), which can help businesses plan ahead and deliver work as efficiently as possible. However, the plans have been published later than usual in the five-year funding cycle, and the equivalent Network Rail plans for Scotland have not yet been published, which are needed for rail supply companies to make their own plans.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: “The Railway Industry Association and our members will welcome the confirmation today that the Government still supports rail reform, and that no decisions have been made on the timing of legislation to create Great British Railways for the fourth session of this Parliament. We continue to call on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to ensure the legislation necessary to create GBR is enacted in this Parliament, to ensure there is no hiatus either in key decisions about the future of UK rail or in work by the rail supply sector.
“Rail supply companies will also welcome today the publication of Network Rail’s Strategic Business Plans and the additional clarity that they provide. We will study them carefully to understand the implications for the railway, including on whether they support a smooth pipeline of investment. We note that these plans have come later than usual, and so may make it more challenging for companies to make the full preparations they would normally be able to make – rail suppliers do need earlier visibility of the plans in future. We urge the publication of the outstanding plans for Scotland as soon as possible.”