The Rail Industry Association (RIA) is asking the UK Government to publish its Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline (RNEP), with one having not been presented in 2020.
RIA said that the government had promised an annual update to the last publication in 2019, which set out £9billion of improvements – with 60 enhancement projects taking place over Control Period 6.
Delays to these plans have so far resulted in at least £1 billion being cut from the rail enhancements budget, Ria claimed, as it argued the government’s planned investments will not be delivered by March 2024, when Control Period 6 ends.
It added the list previously included a wide range of projects, some of which have seen progress announcements, such as the Transpennine Route Upgrade, and some, like the Heathrow Western Rail Link, have not.
RIA chief executive Darren Caplan said: “It has been now two years – 730 days – since the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline was last updated. Rail businesses feel they are being kept in the dark on this, as they need certainty to plan and invest for the future, especially given the long-term and complex nature of railway infrastructure projects.
“If the government wants the UK’s railways to help it build back better and greener, creating jobs and levelling up, it really does need to provide more visibility and certainty around rail enhancement schemes. This would also mean better value for the taxpayer, as schemes are delivered more cost-effectively when rail suppliers have the certainty they need to plan their teams and resources well in advance. We respectfully ask the latest version of the RNEP be published as quickly as possible.”