Shaping the future of rail

Shadow Rail Minister TANMANJEET SINGH DHESI sets out Labour’s ambitions for the rail network

This summer’s heatwave has acutely highlighted the challenges we face when it comes to rail infrastructure and the impact of climate change. Services grinding to a halt, fires and speed restrictions are just the tip of the iceberg. If we are to build a network fit for future generations, we must ensure resilience in the face of our changing environment, whilst also tackling the root cause of the climate crisis.

Rail, after all, has excellent climate credentials – comprising just 1.4% of the UK’s transport emissions, but providing 9.5% of all passenger miles. Increasing rail usage to reach Net Zero is a nobrainer, but one the Government seems worryingly behind on!

As I write in late July, the Government is in turmoil and, with the battle to become the next Prime Minister in full flow, is actively avoiding tackling our pressing climate crisis. The future of our railways is falling by the wayside: no HS2 Chair, a Transport Secretary presiding over self-inflicted travel chaos and a zombie Prime Minister – it’s a shambles. But we simply cannot ignore the glaring issues we face. We all know the huge benefits of rail – Government should be taking advantage of them, not side-lining them.

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