Date: 18 November 2021
Subject: Rail Forum Midlands Reacts to IRP Publication
Rail Forum Midlands (RFM) acknowledges and welcomes the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands, published today. It is the first step in removing the doubt and speculation on the future development of the rail network.
Elaine Clark, CEO of RFM said; ”Our members will welcome the faster delivery and timescales for upgraded services across the North and Midlands. We recognise that political and business leaders may be disappointed that some of the gaps in the Plan and the scaling down of HS2 could hinder economic development. However, future schemes through the RNEP and optional schemes in the IRP itself may provide additional investment to address these issues.
RFM and our members look forward to working with Government to ensure that we deliver on the significant investment in the IRP. However, the Plan states that schemes are only approved to the next stage of development at which point re-authorisation will be required. The potential bureaucracy of the approval process is a source of concern and we must ensure that this approach delivers faster and better projects. It is also a reinforcement that Government wants to see clients and the supply chain working more closely together to deliver better value for taxpayers. RFM will do everything we can to support our members as they rise to this challenge.
It is also worth noting that the IRP will have an impact on future rolling stock requirements including depot and stabling facilities. This has the potential to provide further opportunities for investment across the North and Midlands supporting and creating more skilled jobs.”
About Rail Forum Midlands:
Rail Forum Midlands (RFM) is a national industry body with strong regional connections including supporting the nationally and internationally important rail supply chain cluster across the Midlands; RFM has over 300 members providing products and services across all aspects of the industry. RFM actively supports the national rail agenda and strategy, encouraging collaboration, promoting members’ capabilities, leading a number of regional skills initiatives and supporting innovation and export priorities. RFM is owned and governed by its members with a Board drawn from member companies.
For further information about RFM contact:
Elaine Clark – CEO firstname.lastname@example.org