Network Rail has announced a GBP 44.1 billion (EUR 50.7 billion) investment under the five-year plan (Control Period 7 – CP7) for the railway in England and Wales. The investment to be implemented from 2024 until 2029 will tackle climate change and will improve train performance from current levels, both for passenger and freight traffic.
In December the Department for Transport (DfT) published two key documents. One set out what it wanted Britain railway to deliver (High Level Output Statement – HLOS) and the other, how much funding it was making available (Statement of Funds Available – SoFA).
Over the last two years, and more intensively over the past three months, Network Rail has been working on plans to deliver the best railway it can for the amount of money available – GBP 44.1 billion, which, after adjusting for changes in electricity costs, is GBP 1.8 billion (EUR 2 billion) more than CP6 (2019-2024).
Whilst funding for enhancements to British railway is no longer included in this funding settlement, the Government has already committed substantial investment – some GBP 96 billion (EUR 110.4 billion) – in the Integrated Rail Plan, with a substantial portion of these funds being delivered in projects during the course of CP7.
The investment includes regional plans for railway in England and Wales and plans for Britain’s national functions. Scotland’s Railway continues to align CP7 plans with Scottish Ministers’ HLOS and SoFA, which was published in early February 2023. The final Scotland CP7 SBP is expected to be published in summer 2023.
For the two regions (England and Wales), CP7 considers three main pillars including the focusing on customers, supporting all rail users, as well as the economic growth and connectivity.
“Our plan for CP7 is ambitious, focussed on our passengers and customers and reflects the current complexities and challenges facing the industry. There will no doubt be obstacles ahead and I look forward to working collaboratively with the sector to deliver this plan, reshape the industry and build a railway that is fit for the future,” Network Rail’s chief executive Andrew Haines said.
Network Rail’s CP7 starts from April 2024 and runs until 2029. The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) will now review this initial strategic business plan and review how it measures up against the Government’s HLOS and SoFA and publish its draft determination on this plan later this year including targets, measures and incentives it will hold Network Rail to deliver over CP7.