The shockwaves that reverberated through the country following the result of the EU Referendum on June 23 hit the rail industry with similar force. Questions have been raised over whether investment in large projects can continue, and how to ensure that international freight services do not suffer.
But Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin has reassured the industry that investment in our railways must continue. “As we address the future and the consequences of our vote to leave the European Union, one thing is certain: investment in the long-term infrastructure we need has become more important, not less.”
Speaking at the National Infrastructure Forum on June 28, McLoughlin said: “Yes, we face a period of adjustment - economic, social and political. But as we step out into our new place in the world, I sincerely believe we do so from a position of strength. We have spent the last six years delivering a plan that today means Britain is the strongest major advanced economy in the world.”
He continued: “As we face up to the enormity of our task, be reassured. Our work is not yet done. The business of strengthening Britain’s economy continues.
“HS2 will rebalance our economy and generate colossal benefits for the supply chain. We are making progress on HS3 - or Northern Powerhouse Rail - which will transform the North, alongside the £13 billion we are spending improving transport in the area. We are transforming northern roads, and electrifying northern railways.”
- For more on Brexit, read RAIL 804, published on July 6.