Palace of Westminster (Photo Steve Bidmead, Pixabay)

UK: Ahead of the July 4 general election the Railway Industry Association has published a manifesto setting out its five main asks for the next parliament and calling for a fresh start for rail.

RIA calls on the next government to:

  • publish a long-term rail strategy that plans for growth;
  • deliver railway industry reform to remove ongoing uncertainty over the future structure of the sector;
  • accelerate orders for new trains and low carbon network upgrades including electrification and battery trains;
  • support a sustainable supply chain with a long-term pipeline of planned work, minimisation of peaks and troughs and procurement decisions that take into account the long-term health and competitiveness of the supply chain;
  • leverage private investment.

‘Whoever forms the next government needs to seize the opportunity to refresh rail for the future’, said RIA Chief Executive Darren Caplan on June 6.

‘In the short-term, we urge incoming rail ministers to fast track rail reform as soon as possible — to give structure and certainty to the railway industry — and to bring forward orders of low-carbon rolling stock. The next government should also focus on top-line growth, not just bottom-line cost efficiency, if it wants to build the foundations for long-term sustainability and investment.’