Media and industry discussion around the Integrated Rail Plan (IPR) intensified during the first quarter of the year as the Technical Annex of the IPR was published and several sessions of the Transport Select Committee were held on the topic. One of the key areas of criticism of the IPR has been the scaling back of investment and the impact this will have on the size of economic transformation which can now be achieved. However, the Network Rail Chief Executive, Andrew Haines, chided the industry for criticising the lack of ambition represented by the £96 billion investment which remains in the IRP.
Behind all the noise, the rail industry remains keen to crack on with this investment programme and is eager to get early visibility of the procurement pipeline so that it can begin planning appropriate levels of capacity and resources. The focus will now shift to delivering the current IRP to budget and timescales, as well as building confidence in the supply chain’s capabilities.
This is something RIA North will continue to play a significant role in. The group’s ‘value for money’ workstream brings together experts from across the industry to outline how clients and supply chains can work better together to ensure our combined efforts deliver value into the IRP. As the leader of this workstream I am pleased to say that our 'Delivering Value' report has now been published. It captures best practice from major projects including Crossrail and HS2 and looks at how they map onto the government’s Construction Playbook Project 13. We welcome your comments on the report.