The UK Government has announced $63.23bn (£46bn) for rail investment in the Autumn Budget 2021 and Spending Review, with plans to make the sector more ‘customer-focused and financially sustainable’.
Announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, the funding aims to boost rail connectivity across the country as outlined in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.
A total of $48.11bn (£35bn) has been allocated to enhance railway connectivity over the upcoming three years.
The government has also committed $7.83bn (£5.7bn) to eight city regions outside London over the course of five years.
These regions include West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, the Liverpool City Region, and Tees Valley.
Around $494.83m (£360m) has been allocated to upgrade ticketing and retail systems, such as offering ‘Pay as You Go’ ticketing to commuters outside of London.
The government has set aside $281.78m (£205m) for initiating Great British Railways’ (GBR) mobilisation.
Focus will be given to improve the transport network on time and on budget, which is expected to ‘grow and level up the economy’.
The government will also support the decarbonisation of transport, with an aim to improve air quality and fight climate change.
Investment will be made in High Speed Two (HS2), rail enhancements and ‘vital’ renewals, with a focus on the Midlands and the North.
Earlier this month, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) released new figures indicating that rail travel started to bounce back between April and June this year.