UK firms reap benefits of rail investment, says Network RailAug 15, 2013
The figures show that more than £1 billion spent in 2012/13 went to small and medium-sized businesses across a range of industries from telecoms suppliers and glazers to solar energy engineers and security providers.
This investment has sustained more than 90,000 full-time jobs nationwide as well as the 34,000 directly employed by Network Rail, whose national headquarters are next to Milton Keynes Central railway station.
It has also generated significant revenue for the Treasury and bosted local economies, said a Network Rail spokesman.
The projects include upgrades on the Thameslink line that runs between Bedford and London.
Network Rail executives say that the organisation, which runs the nation’s rail infrastructure, has a “pivotal” role to play in the UK’s economic growth as it prepares to add hundreds of extra trains every day between the major cities, increase rail capacity and improve existing lines as well as build new ones.
Simon Kirby, managing director of Network Rail Infrastructure Projects, said: “The rail industry is increasingly recognised as a key contributor to our national, economic and social well-being.
"Across Britain, investment in a bigger, better railway has provided a massive boost to hundreds of businesses of all shapes and sizes, supporting sustainable economic growth and jobs.”
In the last four years, Network Rail has generated £17.3 billionn of work for its supply chain, of which £6.2 billion has been with small and medium-sized businesses an increase of 22 per cent on the previous four years.
Planned enhancements and renewals expenditure between 2014 and 2019 total around £25 billion, with almost all the work to be done by UK companies.
The network carries more than three million passengers daily and transports millions of tonnes of goods.
Mr Kirby said: “But railways do not just move people and freight. Railways connect homes and workplaces, businesses with markets, create jobs, stimulate trade and support the growth of a balanced economy.
"Network Rail will have a pivotal role to play in driving sustainable economic growth over the next five years.”
The government has set aside £100 billion for infrastructure investment including in the railway network. Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “Investing in infrastructure has a direct effect on the economy, creating jobs, and giving Britain the infrastructure we need to build a stronger economy and fairer society.
"I am very glad to see that Network Rail are doing their bit to drive sustainable and balanced economic growth across the UK.”