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From Ambition to Reality. How the Strategic Rail Plan Will Be Delivered

November 28, 2023
Godalming Station AfA Opening (20)-min

As the strategic plan for Great British Rail continues to take shape, consideration progressively turns to implementation. What changes are already happening in the infrastructure sector that will ease the path to implementing the strategy?

While we still don’t know all the details the key themes are clear following the consultation. Broadly these are:

  • Decarbonising transport networks
  • Improving customer accessibility and service
  • Supporting levelling up
  • Improving efficiency
  • Better integration with other transport modes
  • Recognising rail is not always the answer

The last two points are closely related. In practical terms rail networks can only extend so far – particularly into urban environments.

Transport hubs will be a critical component of implementing the strategy – but they come with many practical issues. These can be solved through innovation, careful stakeholder engagement and experience of working across transport modes with different infrastructure owners and operators.

Making Rail Services Accessible

Transport hubs also contribute to greater accessibility, both to the rail network and to the education and employment opportunities that are essential for levelling up. Alongside this there will be continuing works to make platforms easier to access.

Octavius has delivered many such projects as part of Access for All. Expanding this work to more stations leads to the next, and possibly the most significant, priority: efficiency.

Efficiency Is the Big Challenge

Even if funds are released by not completing the original scope of HS2, the pressure will be on to deliver more, with less budget and in less time.

The progress Octavius has already made with Lean implementation proves that there’s a viable route to transforming efficiency and productivity levels. As well as minimising waste throughout our own organisation we’re able to engage our supply chain more meaningfully, to design better project solutions through detailed project walk-throughs and sharing Lean best practices.

The Get It Right Initiative estimates the total cost of errors on construction projects to be between £10–25 billion per annum. That’s a huge sum potentially available for investment without spending an additional penny of taxpayers’ money.

Lean reduces the waste of time and materials. It also helps address decarbonisation through eliminating over-engineered solutions that consume more materials than needed.

You can find out more about how Lean implementation and other initiatives are preparing the ground for implementing the Whole Industry Strategic Plan by accessing our resource centre. Or contact Mike Todd (mike.todd@octaviusinfrastructure.co.uk).

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