An end to the ‘boom and bust’ pattern of rail funding, and development of innovative technologies are just two of the recommendations the Railway Industry Association (RIA) has called for in response to the government’s Williams Rail Review.
The Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, called for the Williams Rail Review in September 2018. Led by independent Chair, Keith Williams, the review was established in order to establish the most appropriate organisational and commercial frameworks to support the delivery of the government’s railway ambitions.
The ‘root and branch’ Williams Rail Review aims to transform Britain’s railways – and in the most significant review since privatisation, the recommendations aim to benefit passengers using the railway, boosting the economy in the process.
The RIA, which represents in excess of 240 companies within the UK’s rail supply community, has published its response to the Review; one of the major concerns is the ‘boom and bust’ in rail funding which, the RIA believes, will save up to 30% for work on the network if it is ended.
Elsewhere, the Association, has called for an increase in collaboration across the whole industry; a move towards more ‘intelligent’ procurement and alliance-based approaches that promote industry collaboration and deliver better value.
It is also important that this Review does not result in a loss of work momentum and further uncertainty for the supply chain.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the RIA, said: “The RIA and our members support the development of a rail system which delivers even more for passengers, freight and taxpayers.
“So we urge the Williams Rail Review to, in particular, focus on smoothing out ‘boom and bust’ in work flows, reducing the cost of the railway by up to 30%, and ensure there is a smooth, visible, pipeline of enhancements work for rail companies in the future.
“The Review should also look at helping the sector develop even more innovative technologies and processes, and increase efficiency and collaboration in the rail industry.”