The Railway Industry Association (RIA) act as the voice for the UK rail supply community and have responded to the launch of a consultation on upcoming legislation consultation from the Great British Railways Transition Team (GBRTT). The RIA have urged the transition team to be ambitious about the future of the railways, expecting strong private sector involvement.
On Thursday 9th June, the Government confirmed it will consult on the primary legislation needed for Great British Railways to be established. The consultation will cover core functions and duties of Great British Railways, new governance framework and the reform of wider industry structures and processes.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), commented:
“These announcements are a welcome step forward in the journey to establish Great British Railways and its passage through Parliament.
“Thousands of rail businesses play a vital role in the construction and operation of the UK’s railways, and so it is good to see the Government recognise the need to harness the ‘best of the private sector’. We also support the proposal for the licence from Government to require GBR to encourage private sector involvement and take account of the benefits of rail investment for the economy and the supply chain.
“Whilst this process takes place, it is vital that the Government avoids a hiatus in current work and decision-making on rail projects and gets on with delivering these reforms to provide businesses with as much certainty as possible.
“This consultation comes at an important time. It is clear that passengers are returning to the railway in strong numbers on all days of the week, reaching over 90% of pre-pandemic levels in May. Given the clear demand for rail travel, it is essential that GBRTT is ambitious about rail’s future and maximises the benefits of investment, to ensure rail is the backbone of a reliable and clean transport system.
“We will continue to work with our members to review and respond to the consultation by the deadline of 4 August.”