Boost for UK economy and rail industry through new Israel partnership

Fresh business opportunities and potential new jobs will be unlocked for the UK’s rail industry thanks to a new partnership signed by the Transport Secretary with Israel today (24 August).

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed by the two countries to share expertise on large scale rail projects, following the successful launch of the UK’s Elizabeth Line earlier this year.

The benefits of the state-of-the-art line will be extended overseas, through the Department for Transport’s Crossrail International advisory company. This follows the introduction of the Elizabeth Line, which slashed fares by over a third for commuters across London and massively reduced journey times. The project is also estimated to pump £42 billion into the UK economy and has created more than 55,000 jobs and 1,000 apprenticeships while expanding central London’s rail capacity by 10%.

It is now hoped business opportunities with Israel, the UK’s third biggest transport goods trading partner, will not only enable firms to share valuable expertise, but boost economic growth and could lead to more jobs being created.

In July, the UK launched negotiations with Israel to upgrade the current trade deal, currently worth £5 billion and supports 6,600 UK businesses. The upgraded agreement would establish a modern, revamped trading relationship between two of the world’s services superpowers.  This includes seeking improved access to major public sector contracts for UK businesses and boosting opportunities for the services sector.

In 2021 alone, the UK imported £144m of transportation services from Israel, highlighting the close relationship between our two nations.

As part of the Transport Secretary’s visit to Israel this week, he has visited the building site of Tel Aviv’s new light rail line and met with the Israeli Transport Minister Merav Michaeli.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said : “Today’s partnership further ingrains our commitment to a global Britain, helping our world-leading rail industry to extend its expertise to friends overseas, while …
… to visit the project site this week to see first-hand the ongoing work to build such a revolutionary transport hub which will help millions of passengers get from A to B quicker, easier and more sustainably.”

The UK-Israel MOU comes as Israel undertakes a multi-billion-pound mass transit project in Tel Aviv – the country’s largest and most complicated infrastructure project to ever exist. The scheme is being supported by the Department for Transport owned Crossrail International, a specialist advisory company which offers its expertise across the globe to deliver complex rail projects. The project will see the build of three light rail and metro lines to serve 27 local authorities and three million passengers daily.

The new memorandum will allow both countries to share experience and best practice in relation to large-scale transport projects.

For example, the UK’s Crossrail International will offer advice to Israel on design, safety and standards of new train lines across the country. Expertise will also be shared on ensuring the build of transport projects is as green and sustainable as possible.

Chief Executive Officer of Crossrail International Paul Dyson said: “Our aim is to share good practice, lessons learned and innovation to provide better outcomes and wider benefits for our respective societies.

“Crossrail International is extremely proud to be a partner of this MoU and to act as a conduit of UK knowledge, skills and expertise that will support the Israeli Ministry of Transport in the delivery of its transformational rail transit portfolio.”

The memorandum between the Department for Transport and the Israeli Ministry of Transport and Road Safety is set to boost the UK economy by offering British engineers the chance to provide bespoke advice in relation to Tel Aviv’s new metro line.

Minister of Transport and Road Safety for Israel, Merav Michaeli, said: “Transport is a national security issue. This is accepted and understood around the world, and I am happy to strengthen ties and enter …
… steps contribute to strengthening the relations between Israel and the United Kingdom and are a cornerstone of our important bilateral ties. This is how we are moving Israeli transport several steps forward.”