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Rail News Round-Up for June 2018

Posted by: Warren Drobac
Industry News

Network Rail Lead the Way with SME Businesses

According to this railway technology magazine article, Network rail will be changing terms between suppliers and contractors with the aim of benefiting thousands of small and medium enterprises. This is being achieved as a result of Network Rail insisting suppliers commit to subtractors within 28 days in addition to the removal of retentions meaning sub-contractors will be paid sooner rather than on project completion.

A spokesman from Network Rail, Stephen Blakey Commercial Director was quoted as follows;

“The changes will make a significant difference to smaller suppliers in particular, who rely on regular cash flow to operate successfully. We want to foster an environment that is fair, sustainable and encourages growth; but this is not at the expense of our larger suppliers,”

In another move designed to benefit both suppliers and their small sub-contractors Network Rail confirmed they will continue with their Fair Payment Charter meaning payment times will reduce from 56 days to 21 for suppliers. Similarly, suppliers first tier sub-contractors will be paid within 7 days of the supplier being paid.

UK Cities Rail Expansion Report Findings

According to the Urban Transport pressure group meaningful rail expansion is the “only viable” expansion to reduce road traffic, air pollution and achieve desired economic growth. These are the findings in the their “Rail Cities UK” report which sets out a clear vision for 21st Century modern rail cities.

Urban Transport’s vision findings include;

  • Increasing the frequency and reliability of current rail services plus creating more cross city routes.
  • Introduce tram-trains which can run on conventional rail as well as street tram tracks. 
  • Create stations that acts as hubs for business, housing and communities.
  • Closer integration with wider public transport.
  • Emulate the German model of interconnected city rail networks.
  • Ben Still, Managing Director at West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Urban Transport Group’s lead Board member for rail, was quoted as follows

“Rail is absolutely vital for creating city regions which are economically dynamic, green and sustainable, meet housing needs, and are ultimately exciting and rewarding places for people to live, work and spend time in. Only by expanding rail networks will we be able to get more people into the denser, less congested urban centres whilst unlocking more opportunities for housing development.”

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