We have made a representation to HM Treasury’s Autumn 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review consultation. In it, we emphasised the importance of the Railway to reducing carbon use (as it can be an efficient consumer of carbon) and to moving people and freight efficiently to help deliver economic growth, including ‘levelling up’. Image from Birmingham University
The HM Treasury Comprehensive Spending Review will:
Set UK Government departments’ resource budgets for the years 2021/22 to 2023/24 and capital budgets for the years 2021/22 until 2024/25, and devolved administrations’ block grants for the same period.” As such it is essential that the railway is sensibly funded, for capital improvements and for its day to day subsidy – the latter particularly important until there is a substantial return to rail post Covid-19.
Our submission has made 8 points, over 4 pages, which we mapped to the Treasury’s 6 priorities. It can be downloaded or viewed on-line. In it we set out reasons why spending on Rail is a sensible use of resources. In particular, we:
- Highlighted that Rail can be a very efficient user of carbon; referring in particular to an International Energy Agency report:
- Say that there needed to be recognition that for many roles in many industries working from home has been shown to be practical, but that there is a growing body of evidence that workplace interaction is also needed for some of the time and that therefore mass transit is still needed – we could easily see fewer, longer journeys, as those who do not need to be at their workplace every day choose to live further from their workplace. We conclude on this by emphasizing that the fare system needs to deliver value for money for these intermittent workplace attenders.
- Reminded HM Treasury of their own National Infrastructure Commission’s observation:
- That Rail will benefit from a stable and long term investment environment – a move away from the feast and famine approach that has contributed to problems like the cost overruns on the GWML Electrification.
- Highlighted that Rail contributes to “Levelling Up” in two key ways:
- It creates good jobs throughout the country, not just in hot spots
- It allows people to travel to jobs away from their home, substantially increasing opportunity for individuals and the pool of staff for employers.
Download or view the Railfuture submission
Comprehensive Spending Review
International Energy Association report: The Future of Rail
National Infrastructure Commission: Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North - Interim report