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Industry calls for further investment in rail

A coalition of business and transport groups is calling for government to provide further investment in rail, ahead of the HLOS (high level output specification), due to be published next month.

The British Chambers of Commerce, Campaign for Better Transport, The Centre for Cities and the Passenger Transport Executive Group (pteg) have written to Chancellor George Osborne to urge him to provide more investment for theUK’s rail network.

Including further investment in rail for the HLOS would stimulate the economy, boost the labour market and reduce carbon emissions, they say.

Stephen Joseph, chief executive, Campaign for Better Transport, highlighted that continued investment is needed to maintain growing passenger and freight use.

He said: “A thriving rail network will help the Government meet challenging carbon reduction targets and provide other environmental benefits, including better air quality and less noise pollution.”

Geoff Inskip, chief executive, Centro and chair of the Passenger Transport Executive Group, said that investment was vital to realise the potential of theUK’s major cities.

Adam Marshall, director of policy & external affairs, British Chambers of Commerce, added: “Business supports long-term strategic investment to improve our rail infrastructure, rather than simply looking to short-term fixes. Only with good quality infrastructure in place will our businesses be able to thrive and deliver the growth we need to get the economy growing.”

Alexandra Jones, chief executive, Centre for Cities, said: “A thriving rail network links people to jobs and businesses to sales opportunities. It can also help cities seeking to buck the trend of out-of-town office parks and revitalise their city centres. Investment in rail infrastructure is essential for economic growth, both now and in the longer term.”

Timeline on CP5 funding:

September 2011 – Initial Industry Plan published

July 2012 – HLOS and SoFA (statement of funds allocated) published

September 2012 – ORR consultation on draft Network Rail Strategic Business Plan in light of HLOS and SoFA

January 2013 – Network Rail Strategic Business Plan published

June 2013 – ORR draft determination on the plan

October 2013 – ORR’s Final Determination

By 31 March 2014 – Network Rail to publish a detailed delivery plan setting out how it will achieve the requirements of the Final Determination

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