Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, has unveiled the latest stage in the government’s investment into Britain’s railways, announcing that £48 billion will be spent on the network over a five-year period.
The announced investment will be used for maintenance and renewal purposes to increase reliability and punctuality for passengers.
This comes on top of the funding which has already taken place in the railway industry over the past five years as the government delivered the biggest rail modernisation programme for over a century.
“This government is continuing its record funding in Britain’s rail network,” said Chris Grayling. “As a commuter, I know how frustrating it is to be delayed by problems on the line. Passengers want a railway they can rely on and that’s where this huge investment will make a real difference to their everyday lives – by renewing more tracks earlier and increasing maintenance to deliver far better services.
“This investment is about boosting reliability and punctuality for millions of journeys, and we will do this alongside building major upgrades around the country and delivering new, faster, more comfortable trains.”
It has also been confirmed that there will be a new funding process for major upgrades and enhancements on the railways which will result in more vigorous investment decisions to make sure public spending best meet the needs of passengers and freight.
Commenting further, Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “Passengers will welcome this ongoing high level of railway investment. Further investment through future major projects and franchises will boost the spending pot even more.
“We’re pleased to see that government is listening to what passengers want – better day-to-day reliability – and making that the main focus. Passengers tell us they want more reliable trains, a better chance of getting a seat or at least standing in comfort, and less delays. This investment will help underpin these improvements.
“The proof of the value of this spend will be when passengers start to see more reliable services and better value for money. Passengers now pump around £9 billion a year into the industry. In return they should expect the basic promises made by the industry to be kept.”
“Continued high levels of investment in our railway is essential to create the jobs, housing and economic boost our country needs to prosper. Today’s announcement shows the Government’s endorsement of this approach,” concluded Mark Carne, Chief Executive of Network Rail. “Over the next 12-18 months millions of passengers will experience significant improvements to their services as thousands of new trains, faster and more frequent services come on-stream.
“Network Rail is transforming into devolved businesses to better respond to its local customers and communities. This local focus, combined with opening up the funding, financing and delivery of investment projects to third parties, will help to drive efficiencies and value for the taxpayer.
“We will submit our detailed plans to the regulator in the next few months that will help to finalise the railways funding for the five years to 2024 and continue to drive our company’s transformation to better equip it for the demands ahead.”
The funding will be spent between 2019 to 2024.
Source: Indonesia Investments