Press Release

RIA responds to the Union Connectivity Review

26 November 2021

The Railway Industry Association (RIA), the national trade body representing over 300 rail companies, has responded to the publication of the Union Connectivity Review.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), commented: “We welcome Sir Peter Hendy’s Union Connectivity Review published today (26 November). It is good to see mention of upgrade schemes, such as the West Coast Main Line and North Wales Coast Line electrification, as well as improving rail links in Northern Ireland, across the Midlands, and on the East Coast of England. All would help increase rail capacity in the UK, vital to providing sustainable transport options for millions of people and also freight in the future, and boosting long-term economic growth.

“We will assess how the development of the proposed ‘UKNET’ – a strategic transport network spanning the entire UK – will work in practice for our members, but a joined-up, strategic approach to planning UK transport connectivity of course makes sense in principle.

“RIA and our members will now work with partners across the UK on these recommendations. We await the Government’s response and hope to see confirmation of funding and scheduling for the upgrades shortly.”

Notes to Editors


  1. The Union Connectivity Review can be viewed here

  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 300+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £43 billion in economic growth and £14 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 710,000 people. It is also a vital industry for the UK’s economic recovery, supporting green investment and jobs in towns and communities across the UK; for every £1 spent in rail, £2.50 is generated in the wider economy. 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).

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