The way to do it
Councils, businesses and MPs want more rail investment in their region – nothing new there.
But the new manifesto for rail in eastern England isn’t just about a photocall to get a few politicians’ names in the local paper: this is the product of serious work by a serious consortium that engages with the way the railways are funded today and knows its HLOS from its elbow.
Rather than just call for more frequent trains, as too many campaign groups do, leaving it to others to work out how, it has detailed short-term and long-term priorities on exactly how the infrastructure needs to be upgraded to boost capacity in a growing region.
Getting agreement between so many people over such a relatively large area, where local tensions are everywhere (rumour has it that the Cambridgeshire contingent thought the document at one stage too Norfolk-focused, and so on), has been an achievement in itself, even if some of the recommendations are probably pie-in-the-sky.
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