Rail electrification policy must be rethought urges IET

Government rail electrification policy must be rethought, the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) has urged.

Europe’s biggest engineering body the IET called for the changes after the Chancellor's Autumn Statement announced electrification for the main trans-Pennine rail route.

“The welcome announcement strongly highlights the urgent requirement for a comprehensive re-statement of government rail policy,” said Jeremy Acklam of the IET.

“Confidence is needed that the 40 per cent 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, with at least £1.4bn of this sum earmarked for railway and transport infrastructure and commuter links.

The IET also warns that all UK infrastructure, including rail 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.

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