A manifesto has been unveiled by the Railway Industry Association (RIA) as the next General Election moves ever-closer.
A number of main tasks have been set out that the industry will face over the next three decades, and so, the aim is to create a rail industry that is sustainable over the long-term.
The RIA has urged all political parties to play their part when it comes to these tasks by creating a long-term strategy that enhances private investment and creates an improved balance between new and used rolling stock. What’s more, it also wants assistance when it comes to decarbonising the railway through increased electrification as well as implementing better technology.
It has also called for further commitment to other large projects along with electrification including the Northern Powerhouse, East-West Rail and HS2.
The RIA believes that it is crucial that future governments work closely with the rail industry. This will allow them to set priorities and identify the role of the industry as a vital exporter, particularly when it comes to developing new agreements relating to trade.
As the General Election fast approaches on the 12 December, the Chief Executive Darren Caplan has said that transport and in particular, rail, is something that political parties should consider, particularly if they want the UK to become a leading economy with first-class connectivity
The manifesto, known as RAIL 2050, has been developed with input from rail supplier members and sets out the vision for the future. The aim is to create a rail network that works for customers, taxpayers and the economy. As a result, it is not about creating a short-term strategy but about planning for the future. Through innovation, collaboration and a proactive approach, funding in the rail industry has to change.
All of the political parties will have their own manifestos which the RIA is eager to see once published. However, everyone in the rail industry has to build a case for creating world-class rail in the UK, which means acting now and when a new government comes into power. The Williams and Oakervee Reviews are soon to be released and Brexit is still causing uncertainty, proving that now is the time to put a rail policy in place that can stand strong for the decades that lie ahead.