IoD: Rail digitisation rollout must be more ambitious

Responding to the announcement of the introduction of new digital technology on the rail network, Dan Lewis, Senior Advisor on Infrastructure Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:

“Digital signalling should be the number one priority for our country’s trains and today’s announcement is a welcome step in the right direction.

“However, we need to be more ambitious. Consumers should not have to wait until 2033 for digital signalling to reach the target 70% of the network. Instead, full coverage by 2023 should be the goal to help reverse the growing dissatisfaction passengers have towards the UK’s rail transport network.

“London’s Victoria line already shows that digital signalling works, with trains running every 100 seconds. The first-rate efficiency itself creates increased demand as passengers know they can rely on the service. All tube lines will have digitised signalling by 2023, so the challenge should be for the government, Network Rail and the Train Operating Companies to find a way to match this ambition.”