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2009-05-28 ATO-001


Start planning early for increased demand says rail industry

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Start planning early for increased demand says rail industry

28 May 2009
source ATOC
type Press release

Today the rail industry set out its vision for what the railway should look like and be able to deliver for passengers and freight users in 20 to 30 years time.

In 'Planning ahead', a paper published today, Network Rail, the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and the Rail Freight Operators' Association (RFOA), look beyond recent improvements in punctuality and the work already agreed to develop the railway over the next five years.

The paper sets out a vision for the long term future that focuses on passenger and freight users' needs, including a railway capable of handling potential demand that could double over the next 30 years and possibly even triple in the longer term.

It points to a railway where:

o Passengers experience more comfortable journeys with better stations, less overcrowding
o There is much better integration with other forms of transport, with parkway stations for major cities and towns to relieve road congestion and better rail links to airports
o 80% of passengers travel on a green, electrified network
o There is new capacity on the network, including new high speed lines that has all but replaced internal flights
o Record train punctuality will be further improved and sustained
o Most replacement bus services during improvement work have been eliminated
o Freight market share doubles from 11.5% to 20% taking millions of lorry journeys off our roads
o The railway plays a vital role in reducing carbon emissions
o Track-side signals and telephones are eradicated as trains are controlled by computer and digital radio technology
o The taxpayer, passenger and freight users see a network that is highly efficient and affordable

The document also challenges government planning and calls for public transport to be at the core of housing, business and leisure planning in the future so that such new developments, that can add ten of thousands of new houses, are located where there are strong transport links that have spare capacity.

Paul Plummer, Network Rail's director of planning and regulation, said: "With railway assets having a typical life of between 30 to 60 years, a long term-strategic view of what our railways will need to deliver in the decades ahead is essential.

"Today's publication is a start but much more work will be done as the industry works to advise and guide governments in making affordable investment decisions that will benefit the passengers and freight users of the future."

Michael Roberts, chief executive of ATOC, said: "It’s important that the industry comes together to form a consistent long term vision of what’s needed to build a railway that will continue to be successful over the next 30 years.

"It’s equally important that this thinking is based on a thorough understanding of how our customers’ needs may change in the period ahead. We need to start planning for tomorrow’s railway today."

Graham Smith, Chairman of the RFOA, said: "Our vision is for an efficient railway with increased capacity that can accommodate freight users' expanding domestic and international needs.

"This vision delivers reduced carbon emissions, increases the competitiveness of British industry and will enable rail to move 20% of freight in Britain. We look forward to working with our infrastructure and passenger partners in planning the railway of the future."

Today's document signals the start of more detailed further work to shape and confirm the industry's long-term plans. These plans will feed into the governments' next review of the funding requirements for the railway, their high level output specifications in 2012.

For further information, please contact the ATOC Press Office on 020 7841 8020
Network Rail press office on 020 3356 8700, via email mediarelations@networkrail.co.uk
RFOA on 0870 140 5795

Railhub Archive ::: 2009-05-28 ATO-001


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