Rail industry sets out key priorities for Queen’s Speech

10 May 2021

The Railway Industry Association (RIA), the voice of the UK rail supply community has set out its key priorities ahead of the Queen’s Speech tomorrow.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “The Queen’s Speech provides an opportunity for the Government to set out its legislative agenda for the coming year, and when it comes to rail, it could not come at a more pivotal time.

“As restrictions ease following the Coronavirus pandemic, the Railway Industry Association (RIA) and our members would like to see the Government set out a positive vision for our railways, supporting passengers as they return to the network and backing rail as a key catalyst of the UK’s economic bounceback.  

“We’d ask for the long-awaited Williams Rail Review to be published and delivered, maximising the full potential of rail. We’d like to see support to further decarbonise the rail network, through a rolling programme of electrification and fleet orders of low carbon rolling stock; visibility of rail projects, with the publication of the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline; and delivery of major projects, including HS2 in full, Northern Powerhouse Rail, East West Rail, Trans Pennine Route Upgrade and Crossrail 2. RIA would also like to see support for digital signalling work, to ensure we are ready for the significant amount of signalling units that will become life expired in the next 15 years. 

“Delivering in these key areas will support the UK’s economic revival post-pandemic, and build capabilities in a growing international industry, helping support a prosperous ‘Global Britain’.”

Notes to Editors


  1. The Queen’s Speech will be delivered tomorrow (11 May 2021). Find out more here. RIA will be issuing a response following the Speech. 
  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.

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