HS1 Ltd, the operator of the UK’s only international rail link, has today launched a manifesto for growth in the UK’s rail sector and on the HS1 line, ahead of next year’s General Election.
The manifesto details specific policy interventions a future government can take to ensure the sector can recover, to lead the UK’s effort to deliver economic growth and decarbonise the transport industry.
The rail sector is key to driving improved connectivity to economic hubs, delivering growth for the UK economy and improving the usage of more environmentally friendly forms of transport. However, with the rail sector facing significant financial pressures and changing consumer travel habits as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and industrial action, the sector now more than ever needs direct support to help it grow again and create a rail system fit for the future.
Dyan Perry, CEO of HS1 Ltd. said:
“With the rail sector being integral to boosting growth across the UK and achieving the UK’s net-zero transport objectives, it is absolutely fundamental the next Government prioritising the delivery of support to the rail sector that helps support its growth.
“Through our manifesto launched today, we have set out the key policies the Government must adopt to provide the necessary support to the rail sector, to help it recapture growth once again.”
The manifesto outlines nine key priorities for a new Government, which are:
- Capitalise on the growing shift in public attitudes towards environmentally-friendly travel by financially supporting trials for sustainability-focused schemes – such as ‘green miles’ rewards.
- Improve connectivity between different transport modes to create better access to train stations.
- Incentivise rail use through better ticketing, with the Government working with industry to develop new, innovative ticketing options for people to reflect new travel habits.
- Enable frictionless travel to Europe and alleviate risks associated with the Entry/Exit Scheme.
- Support new international routes and operators.
- Reintroduce the VAT Retail Export Scheme, helping to boost the number of international tourists choosing the UK as a holiday destination and support the recovery of the retail sector.
- Increase passenger numbers by committing to work with operators to ensure they are being held accountable for increasing passenger numbers on their services.
- Support the recovery of domestic services by ensuring operator’s long-term viability.
- Providing the HS1 line with greater regulatory innovation as a test bed for showcasing how the rail network can help itself through more freedom to innovate.
Image credit: HS1