19 May 2021
The Railway Industry Association, the voice of the UK rail supply community, has responded to the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “It is good to see the Williams Review published today, giving some certainty to the Government’s plans for the railways as we emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic.
“As far as the Railway Industry Association and our members are concerned, we are heartened that the new Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail is a 30-year strategy, which supports modernisation and investment along the lines of the RIA Rail 2050 manifesto we published in November 2019. As we argued then, it is right to take a long-term approach, in order to smooth boom and bust and provide more certainty for rail schemes, decarbonise and digitalise the network, deliver major projects, protect and create jobs, and foster innovation and collaboration between railway partners. We also welcome the ambition to attract passengers and freight back to the network and grow both markets.
“We will of course be examining the contents of the White Paper in further detail over the coming days and look forward to working with Government, the new Great British Railways organisation, Network Rail and other industry stakeholders, to deliver a railway fit for the future. Our major ask at this stage, however, is that the restructure of UK rail does not cause any hiatus in work being done to renew and enhance railway infrastructure or rolling stock, to ensure everyone in the industry can help rail to build back better as we emerge from the pandemic."