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RDG launches ‘single plan’ for railway with unions, operators and businesses

Almost £85bn of additional economic benefits are hoped to be secured by a landmark collaboration between unions, TOCs and freight operators, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has today stated.

The figure is on top of the £31bn of economic benefits that the railway currently delivers each year.

The collaboration will see train companies, Network Rail and suppliers launch a long-term plan for changing an improving the railway together.

The plan, ‘In partnership for Britain’s prosperity,’ which is supported by passenger groups, all train operating companies, Network Rail, rail freight companies and the supply chain, makes commitments for change and improvements.

It includes independent research, which demonstrates how a changing partnership railway could achieve the additional economic benefits by connecting people to jobs, housing and business opportunities.

To strengthen and improve the railway, the plan will see the industry make four commitments to the railways.

The first commitment will be to strengthen the railway’s contribution to the economy, keeping running costs down and freeing up taxpayers’ money.

The second will be to increase customer satisfaction by improving the railway. Thirdly, the industry will commit to boost local communities through localised decision-making and investment.

The fourth commitment pledged in the plan will be to create more jobs, increase diversity and provide rewarding careers in rail.

Over the next 18 months the RDG says that customers will see a transformation of the railway.

Speaking at the Launch of the plan, Paul Plummer, chief executive of the RDG, said: “Today is a landmark coming together.

“This plan, delivered by a changing partnership railway, will secure the economic benefits from current investment by the public and private sectors, and enable further improvement and investment.”

Network Rail’s chief executive, Mark Carne, explained: “Over the next 18 months passengers and communities across the country will see a transformation in the services that they receive.

“Thousands of new trains will be introduced as the culmination of years of heavy investment in improving our railway comes to fruition, stimulating the economy by delivering new job and housing opportunities.”

By 2021, an investment of over £50bn will see the delivery of 5,700 new carriages and 6,400 additional services each week.

Technology will be used to increase capacity, running services closer together, improving passenger information during disruptions and making the buying and using of tickets easier and quicker.

There will be a £1bn investment into rail teams, creating 20,000 new apprenticeships in the industry by 2020, and doubling the volume of higher level apprenticeships every five years.

Customers will also benefit from the creation of a new Independent Railway Ombudsman by next summer, who will rule on unresolved complaints, and there will be greater customer representation on supervisory boards.

The Rail Supply Group’s industry chair, Gordon Wakeford, said: “Companies in the rail supply chain are committed to innovating and investing to support the delivery of this ambitious plan to change and improve the railway.

“The unprecedented investment in new trains and digital technology set out in this plan offers the prospect of more, high skilled rail jobs in communities up and down the country.”

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Railway Industry Association, urged everyone in the industry to back the campaign.

He said: “The Railway Industry Association welcomes the launch of the RDG’s ‘One Plan’ today.

“The rail industry plan seeks to secure almost £85bn of economic benefits, boosting both the UK economy and its connectivity.

“And it will result in an even better service for passengers and freight, and ultimately even better value for the taxpayer too.”


J, Leicester   30/10/2017 at 16:22

"With Unions", apart from the dinosaurs at the RMT, whose response to this was as follows (to paraphrase the Transport Network article): "Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT union, said the plan had been 'cobbled together' and was 'just the same old fantasy railway plans and promises of jam tomorrow that the public are sick and tired of'." Remember that callous Daily Mail headline about the Judges being "enemies of the people"? Well, I wouldn't object if they were to run it again with the jokers at the RMT as the target. They're a stain on the railway industry and its biggest obstacle in seeking progress and investment.

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