Latest Rail News

27.06.13

DfT capital budget increased to £9.5bn

Chancellor George Osborne announced that the DfT will be required to make 9% savings in its resource spending over 2015/16 in his spending review yesterday.

But the department will see its capital budget rise to £9.5bn. The railways are also set to benefit from new infrastructure projects, with more detail announced today by chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, from £50bn of investment in 2015.

The Government is “looking at the case” for Crossrail 2, Osborne said, and announced that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will take control of £9bn of capital spending to the end of the decade.

He added: “We should give a green light to HS2.”

Stephen Locke, chair, London TravelWatch commented: “We would like to have seen devolution of Southeastern services within London to the Mayor, but TfL will now have an opportunity to show what can be achieved if local services are devolved, by providing improved and better integrated services for some areas which suffer from deprivation and which are expected to experience major growth over the next few years.

“While we welcome the investment plan announced by the Chancellor today, we will be looking to ensure that current levels of service are maintained. It is clear, meanwhile, that there is no funding available to increase service levels, particularly on bus routes which are already congested. Many of the long term challenges London faces will remain to be tackled as demand increases way outstrip capacity. We are also worried about the risk of further fare increases in the next few years as the settlement assumes fare increases in excess of inflation.”

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