Rail industry players have called for the government to provide a longer-term strategy for the nation’s railways and to take action to speed up project delivery.
The report, entitled “UK rail: the next chapter”, published by law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner, is the product of interviews with operators, investors, contractors and banks in the rail sector.
The responses showed that the industry and its stakeholders are frustrated with the government’s short term policy for rail, which were said to stifle investment and project delivery.
The UK rail: the next chapter report has called for government to:
· Commit to a broad, long term strategy - this should tackle existing capacity challenges and map out the development of the network for the next 25 years.
· Provide greater leadership - the absence of clear and strong leadership in the sector is a significant barrier to progress. If this is to come from the Rail Delivery Group, the government must give the body greater authority to drive action.
· Reduce the excessive ‘lag’ between submitting proposals for new infrastructure and project delivery - a streamlined national planning process which recognises the importance of rail infrastructure development is essential.