No long term plan for rail because of privatlisation

16 January 2015

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee today published a report into ‘Lessons learned from major rail infrastructure programmes’ which examines overall management of rail upgrades such as the modernisation of the West Coast Main Line and the construction of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, Crossrail, Thameslink and the planned HS2. The report concludes that the Department for Transport does not have a clear strategic plan for the rail industry.

In addition the report calls on the Department to set out a 30 year strategy for transport infrastructure investment, to learn from previous projects and from experience overseas to deliver value for money in projects it sponsors including HS2 and to work more closely with industry and other government departments responsible for major infrastructure programmes to understand gaps in industry capacity.

ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said ‘I welcome all investment in rail as part of a transport strategy which will deliver a modal shift from road and domestic aviation to rail, buses, cycling and walking. However today’s report highlights the lack of strategic planning in the delivery of major rail infrastructure projects by the Department for Transport.’

Mick added ‘The DfT used to publish transport plans which took a long term view of industry needs and capacity. In today’s privatised railway train companies battle freight companies who battle Network Rail who battle the ORR while the DfT stands aside and the rolling stock companies laugh all the way to the bank. No wonder there is no long term planning. I can suggest one way of doing it.’

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