RIA Scotland welcomes the publication of rail funding for CP7 (April 2024 to March 2029)

After previously being delayed, the publication of rail funding for Control Period 7 (April 2024 to March 2029) has been welcomed by RIA Scotland.

Scottish railway

Credit: RIA Scotland

RIA Scotland has welcomed the publication of the High-Level Output Specification (HLOS) and Statement of Funds Available (SoFA) for Scotland’s Railway infrastructure for Control Period 7 (CP7, April 2024 to March 2029). This comes after RIA Scotland previously expressed disappointment in the delay to publication.

The SoFA commits to £4.2 billion of spend throughout CP7 on the Operations, Maintenance and Renewals of rail infrastructure in Scotland. On a like-for-like basis, the funding allocated for CP7 is broadly in line with the previous five years, CP6, which is positive news for the supply chain.

RIA Scotland welcomes the ambitions set out in the HLOS and the opportunity for rail suppliers to contribute to the success of ‘Team Scotland’ under the HLOS themes of: ‘working together to deliver’, net-zero, net cost, efficient electrification, and a whole system approach to integrating renewals and enhancements.

RIA Scotland particularly welcomes the requirement for Scottish Government Ministers to consider a rolling programme of steady work-banks and activity, using and developing resources based in Scotland in order to secure the most efficient means to deliver rail projects. This level of consistency will help support supplier investment in skills and equipment, thereby improving productivity, building and sustaining capability and ultimately boosting economic growth in Scotland.

Reaction to the publication

“RIA Scotland and our members recently called for more clarity on the funding settlement for work on Scotland’s rail network in the five years from April 2024, and so we welcome this announcement over the funding and objectives for CP7, and the clear commitment to the ambitious strategies previously set out,” Meirion Thomas, RIA Scotland Chair, said. “It is encouraging that the level of funding seems to have been maintained for Operations, Maintenance and Renewals, especially in the context of current fiscal constraints. To fulfil the commitments set out in the HLOS, it will be essential that Scotland’s Railway and suppliers work more closely together, and be more innovative about how we both deliver for Scotland and make the case for enhancements. In this vein, it is welcome that there is a recognition of the need for Transport Scotland and others to engage with the whole supply chain, which RIA Scotland has been regularly calling for in recent months. 

“Since RIA Scotland held its Annual Scottish Conference in November 2022, we have been working with rail supplier members on our four priority areas. We hope that Network Rail and the Scottish Government will work with us in these areas too, as they are consistent with the ambitions set out in the HLOS and will bring significant benefits not just to the whole industry, but also the whole of Scotland. RIA Scotland and its members now look forward to working with Scotland’s Railway and Transport Scotland on these priority areas, as plans for CP7 develop.”

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