Passenger and freight train companies, Network Rail and their suppliers will today launch a £85bn plan to improve UK rail.
The plan, backed by business and passenger groups, makes four commitments for change to build on the railway’s progress of the last 20 years.
It includes new independent research which shows how a changing partnership railway will secure almost £85bn of additional economic benefits for the country by connecting people to jobs, housing and new business opportunities.
This is in addition to the existing £31bn of economic benefits the railway delivers each year now.
The plan, called ‘In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity’, is backed by all passenger train operating companies and Network Rail, as well as rail freight companies and the supply chain acting in partnership as one railway for Britain.
It will see the whole industry make four commitments for change, to protect the benefits of investment and innovation to unlock extra economic benefits, improve journeys, better connect communities and increase jobs in rail, supporting the country as it leaves the European Union.
Speaking at the launch of In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity, Paul Plummer, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which brings together train operators and Network Rail to enable a better railway, will say: “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.
“That’s why today, we are making four commitments for change to safeguard our economic contribution whilst delivering the best deal for taxpayers, to improve services for customers, better connect local communities and secure more jobs in rail.
“This plan will deliver the railway that the economy, customers and communities need as Britain prepares to leave the European Union.”
Securing the economic benefits of the public and private partnership will mean that:
- In the next 18 months alone, customers and communities across the country will see a transformation in their railway with more trains, better services and improved stations;
- Investment into rail of over £50bn will help to deliver 5,700 new carriages on track by 2021 and 6,400 additional services per week;
- Customer journeys will be improved using technology to increase capacity by running trains closer together, to improve information to help passengers during disruption, and to make buying and using tickets quicker and easier;
- Improved services and greater confidence for customers with the introduction of a new Independent Railway Ombudsman, by Summer 2018, ruling on unresolved complaints;
- A stronger voice for customers in England and Wales with customer representation on joint supervisory boards, or an equivalent – a partnership between the rail industry and customer groups;
- Our staff in the railway will benefit with 100,000 job opportunities, £1bn investment in our team, the creation of 20,000 new apprenticeships in rail and its supply chain by 2020 and doubling the number