Key points from the submission:
ICE has long argued for improved connectivity and transport capacity in the Midlands and the North. Investing in faster, more reliable public transport is essential for rebalancing the economy and delivering net-zero.
The investment announced in the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) is therefore much-needed. However, it is unclear whether the plan is sufficient to deliver the additional capacity and connectivity required to meet those long-term goals.
There is also some doubt whether the collaboration that has been a feature of many of the rail proposals considered in the IRP, along with the growth strategies prepared for the stations on the planned HS2 network, has been undermined by the delay in publishing the IRP and some of the future governance proposals suggested. This puts future delivery at risk.
It was hoped that the IRP would provide a clear and ambitious pipeline of rail connectivity improvements to support local, regional and national growth ambitions.
The IRP as presented does not seem to achieve this, given that some of the essential components that a justifiable and deliverable infrastructure plan should contain are either missing or not provided as supporting evidence.
Indeed, the lack of information made available in the IRP, including the evidence for key decisions as well as the timeframes and future governance arrangements for delivering the plan, makes it difficult to fully address some of the questions posed by the Committee.
ICE is ready to support the Committee in addressing these weaknesses and moving towards a more credible and deliverable plan.
ICE submission to the Transport Committee’s inquiry on the Integrated Rail Plan
Content type: Policy
Last updated: January 2022