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Author Topic: 10 Reasons that rail investment should continue  (Read 266 times)
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« on: November 25, 2020, 10:42:24 am »

From Politics Home - a clearly set out list of reasons why rail investment should continue with the long-term importance of the rail network

The Railway Industry Association (RIA), the trade body for the UK rail supply community, has called for the
Government to consider the long-term importance of the rail network, publishing 10 reasons why rail investment should continue, ahead of the Spending Review and in light of the debate over Coronavirus?s impact on the future of transport.

The ten reasons are as follows:

1. Rail is a long-term game ? Investments in infrastructure or rolling stock are usually delivered, and create continuing value for passengers and the wider economy, over years.

2. The reduction in passenger numbers is likely to be temporary ? Based on previous economic slumps in the 1980s, 1990s and post-2008, as well as past health crises, passenger numbers have always recovered to continue their pattern of growth.

3. Rail is not just for passengers ? It is also vital for freight, with over 4 billion tonnes being delivered annually before Coronavirus.

4. Rail travel is clean and safe ? A study undertaken by RSSB in August 2020 estimates that the risk of infection per passenger journey is 1-in-11,000 journeys, with similar results found in other countries.

5. Investment can support the whole of the UK ? The rail network touches almost every part of the country and has the potential to unlock a new generation of talent.

6. Rail can lead the green recovery ? It is not possible to meet zero carbon goals for transport without rail. Rail is a green mode of mass transit, contributing just 2.5% of greenhouse gas emissions from transport and only 0.6% of total UK emissions.

7. Rail cannot easily be mothballed - Once rail infrastructure is decommissioned, it is not easily reopened.

8. Rail investment has a knock-on economic impact - For every #1 spent on the rail network, #2.20 value is delivered in the wider economy.

9. Investment cannot wait ? Much of the rail spending planned cannot be postponed, in order to meet our decarbonisation and digitalisation targets.

10. There is a clear window to get work done ? The pandemic has provided an opportunity to get work done with less impact on services, which should be capitalised on before passenger and freight numbers return.

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2020, 01:57:42 pm »

11. As posted elsewhere 19 million UK citizens - and lets not ignore a significant number of visitors from overseas - cannot, or choose not to, use a car and rail is quite frequently the obvious alternative.

And I would suggest that once the economic & environmental disadvantages of electric cars become more 'mainstream' the 19m will increase.
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2020, 05:50:44 pm »

I'm not sure point 2 really applies in this case, none of the previous scenarios quoted are remotely comparable and uniquely on this occasion the possibilities of remote working have been realised and are likely to persist as people appreciate the favourable work/life balance and employers appreciate the colossal savings they can make in office accommodation and other expenses.

Otherwise some reasonable points, but they really all pivot around future demand........just because you build it, doesn't mean they will come I'm afraid.
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2020, 06:17:02 pm »

I am in general in favour of rail spending, for the reasons given in the O/P.
The point that I would add, is that IMO preference should be given to use of British made materials and employment of British workers.

Unemployment is likely to worsen, and spending public money within the UK economy helps both directly and indirectly.
Foreign made goods might be unavoidable in some circumstances, but preference should be given to UK suppliers unless there is a significant reason to do otherwise.

The UK is "greener" than many of our competitors, and this advantage is diluted by purchasing supplies from many overseas suppliers.

A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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