Parliament’s Transport Committee is conducting an inquiry into ‘Coronavirus: implications for transport’. It is asking transport workers, stakeholders and members of the public to write to them about the transport issues they face during the coronavirus outbreak.
This will enable MPs to explore the impact felt by the industry, its workers and passengers in a rolling programme of work to monitor the impact of coronavirus on UK transport, sector by sector.
The Committee has already received submissions and verbal reports from a number of interested parties, including the Minister of State for Transport and Willie Walsh, chief executive of the International Airlines Group.
Now, the Railway Industry Association (RIA) has published the submission that it has made. This sets out that:
- Whilst there has been positive engagement between rail suppliers and Government, Network Rail and HS2 Ltd, rail suppliers would like to see stronger engagement with clients like Transport for London and also the Train Operating Companies;
- Suppliers have welcomed the assurance that rail work should go ahead, where it is safe to do so;
- The industry’s main concern is a hiatus or drying up of work; and
- Continued effective communication and engagement throughout the railway industry will be essential as the UK moves to the next stage of tackling the virus.
RIA chief executive Darren Caplan said: “The past few months have been incredibly challenging for many in rail, and it is noticeable and welcome that the railway industry has received such strong support from the Government and clients like Network Rail and HS2 Ltd.
“As our submission to the Transport Committee’s consultation shows, the twin priorities of the Railway Industry Association and our members has been to ensure the railway network can enable key workers and resources to be able to move around the country, whilst also ensuring the work suppliers do – working of course within the safety guidelines – helps rail play its part in spearheading economic recovery.
“We now welcome the opportunity to work with the Transport Select Committee, the Government, client bodies and other rail stakeholders, to accelerate work and ensure the railway industry can build even better world-class rail at home and abroad – with rail supply being a leading sector in helping the UK bounce back from the Coronavirus lockdown – in the months ahead.”