Strategic Rail Authority stages pitch for PR job

Passenger franchiser and rail infrastructure developer The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) is to launch a PR offensive to build confidence in the UK railway network.

The SRA, which was set up in February 2001 to oversee the strategic direction of the UK’s railways, is on the hunt for an agency to advise the

authority’s senior executives on how to communicate with the investment community ‘on a sustained and credible basis’.

The authority is also looking for planning and strategic communications support for its senior SRA staff members.

Both accounts are worth £120,000 per year and will run on a two-year contract.

SRA director of communications Ceri Evans declined to comment in detail on the tender but said that it was important for the authority to improve relations with the City.

‘The railway is a public private partnership and so private sector confidence is obviously crucial to its delivery,’ said Evans.

Evans said this was the first time that the SRA had sought retained financial PR advice, although the authority has consulted PR advisers in the past, including the then Cardew & Co.

SRA’s tender for communications support comes just weeks after transport secretary Alistair Darling announced a major review of the structure of the UK’s railways.

The review will focus on the structural and organisational changes that are needed to improve overall rail performance and the progress being made by increased investment. The results of the review are expected in the summer.

Earlier this month The SRA launched its £22m Freight Grant Scheme designed to encourage the movement of freight by rail, coming on stream on 1 April.

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