29 November 2011
The Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET), Europe’s biggest engineering body, has today called for a rethink of government rail electrification policy. The call comes following the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Statement.
Jeremy Acklam of the IET said: “The welcome announcement of electrification for the main trans Pennine rail route today strongly highlights the urgent requirement for a comprehensive re-statement of government rail policy. Confidence is needed that the 40% UK rail efficiency gap identified by the McNulty report is really going to be addressed. The IET calls upon the Secretary of State for Transport to publish a coherent and stable long-term electrification and rolling-stock strategy in the New Year.”
The Chancellor announced a £5bn increase in public spending on capital budget over the next three years. At least £1.4bn of this sum is for railway and transport infrastructure and commuter links.
The IET also warns that all UK infrastructure needs to be designed as part of a single ‘system-of-systems’ so that they support and enhance each other, which requires the sharing of key information and experience across sectors. This includes the UK rail infrastructure.
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