Rail industry backs greater devolution for Midlands

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The Railway Industry Association (RIA) has called for Midlands Connect to be given Sub National Transport Body (STB) status in its response to a consultation on the issue.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) said: “We agree that Midlands Connect should become a Sub National Transport Body (STB), as Transport for the North did earlier this year.

“STB status gives the organisation the power to drive transport policy in the region. It will not only give local communities a greater say over decision making, but will increase efficiency, reliability, quality and resilience in the transport system, enable economic growth across the Midlands and provide certainty for private investment through the development of a transport strategy.

“Rail is a vital component of the Midlands’ economy. In the region covered by Midlands Connect, rail generates over £4.6 billion in economic growth and provides over 87,000 jobs. So it is important that – should Midlands Connect be given STB status – it ensures there is continued investment in rail across the region.”