Railway industry welcomes Public Accounts Committee support for rail decarbonisation

7 July 2021

The Public Accounts Committee has published its report on the “Overview of the English rail system”. In the report, the Committee highlights a “disappointing lack of progress in agreeing a specific and funded plan for rail electrification”, which it says will pose risks to achieving the Government’s Net Zero targets.

It also points to a “’feast or famine’ approach” in electrification projects “which has directly caused boom and bust problems in the supply chain for the SMEs involved in the delivery of these projects and uncertainty for procurement of rolling stock.”

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive at the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: 

“It is positive to see the Public Accounts Committee making the case for a consistent programme of electrification work. Alongside battery and hydrogen train fleet orders, electrification is essential if we are to meet the Government’s Net Zero decarbonisation goals. As the Committee highlights, delivering a rolling programme of work, without the ‘boom and bust’ investment profiles we’ve seen in the past, is a cost-effective way to electrify the UK’s intensively used rail lines.

"This certainty will also help to retain key skills and enable innovation, supporting green jobs and economic growth at this crucial time.

“We look forward to working with the Government to build on these recommendations, and to deliver on the decarbonisation of the rail network ahead of COP26 at good value for the taxpayer, as our Rail Decarbonisation 21 campaign calls for.”

Notes to Editors

 

  1. The Public Accounts Committee report can be found here.
    RIA recently launched its Rail Decarbonisation 21 campaign,
    which is calling for commitment from Government to decarbonise the railways ahead of COP26 in November 2021. The campaign’s keys asks are for the Government to launch a rolling programme of electrification and commit to fleet orders of hydrogen and battery trains. Find out more at www.riagb.org.uk/RailDecarb21
  2. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has some 300 companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry. www.riagb.org.uk

Talk to us

Railway Industry Association

Kings Buildings
16 Smith Square
London
SW1P 3HQ
United Kingdom



© Railway Industry Association Great Britain 2021    


 


RIA is a company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales Reg. No. 10036044