Theresa May memorably made “building a better Britain” one of the key hallmarks of her premiership when she succeeded David Cameron as Prime Minister on July 13 2016.
Most people listening to her maiden speech would have thought those words metaphorical, however, as she also pledged to “make Britain a country that works for everyone”.
But behind these oft-repeated policy positions lies concrete, bricks, mortar and all manner of other building materials, as transport infrastructure is a proven way to deliver the economic growth and equality of opportunity that May seeks to deliver.
That is because connectivity undisputedly boosts productivity, and makes this country an attractive place to invest. Meanwhile an impressive track record of healthy economic returns available on capital investments ensures that the numbers stack up for the Treasury on greenlighting the further enhancement of Britain’s transport infrastructure, including its railway.
The Government has thrown its weight behind this, and has therefore launched its Industrial Strategy to provide a joined-up view spanning all industry sectors.
The rail sector now has an opportunity to respond to the Government’s green paper, to show how it can benefit from increased investment before final decisions are made, and so Stefanie Browne examines the strategy in more detail, and considers what it might mean for UK rail on p50-53.
In order to maximise the return on any future investment, Network Rail is currently looking to modify its procurement processes to better reflect the full life cycle costs of assets. We hear from global supplier Alstom about its range of intelligent solutions that do just that (p44-47), including its advanced signalling technology that offers higher performance yet much lower maintenance needs.
SNC-Lavalin is also looking to benefit from the increased emphasis on wholelife procurement and outlines to RAIL it’s ‘cradle-to-grave’ infrastructure offering that ranges from early financing and design, through to build, maintenance and operation (p48-49).
Finally, Carillion showcases its wideranging capabilities in the field of electrification, and an impressive ability to solve bespoke problems (p54-55).