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ICE response to call for evidence for the Great British Railways Whole Industry Strategic Plan

11 February 2022

The Whole Industry Strategic Plan (WISP) represents an opportunity to set out the type of transport options that are necessary and desirable for the UK to meet long-term national goals, and to identify and implement measures to make it easy for the public to take up those options.

There is no viable path to net-zero without decarbonising transport and enabling modal shift from private cars and air travel to active travel and public transport.

Furthermore, better rail connectivity will also be vital for unlocking the economic potential of underperforming regions and rebalancing the UK’s economy.

Our response to the WISP covers five key issues the new strategic plan will need to address:

  • Getting the planning and delivery of major infrastructure projects right to limit overruns, and rethinking what constitutes success by attaching more weight to the whole-life benefits of projects rather than lowest capital cost.
  • Navigating the long-term impact of Covid-19 on travel patterns through an intelligent use of scenario planning, a more adaptive approach and making the best use of data gathering and analysis.
  • Attaining financial stability to avoid a spiral of decline whereby public transport becomes both less attractive and less affordable, putting at risk the attainment of long-term national objectives.
  • Delivering on the carbon emissions reduction targets for surface transport set by the Climate Change Committee, including clarifying the future of the rail electrification programme, and prioritising investment in the resilience of the rail network to prepare for the growing impact of climate change.
  • Working with subnational actors to strategically identify and articulate long-term network requirements, and ensure infrastructure planning and prioritisation delivers the required connectivity to enable 'levelling up'.

ICE response to call for evidence for the Great British Railways Whole Industry Strategic Plan

Content type: Policy

Last updated: February 2022

Authors: ICE

  • David McNaught, policy manager at ICE