Latest Rail News

15.04.15

Lib Dems pledge to electrify ‘overwhelming majority’ of network

The “overwhelming majority” of the UK rail network will be electrified if the Liberal Democrats form part of the next government, according to the party’s manifesto, which also pledges to support a new generation of light rail and ultra-light rail schemes in towns and cities.

The Lib Dems will develop a “comprehensive plan” to extend electrification across the country, along with restoring twin-track lines to major routes and proceeding with HS2, if they are successful in May.

The party has pledged to deliver the Transport for the North strategy to “promote growth and prosperity across northern England”, while in the south west it will work to develop more resilient rail links.

Party leader Nick Clegg repeated his pledge to fund in full the whole East West Rail scheme between Oxford and Cambridge, which would serve five new garden cities.

New stations along the line would be granted to up to five towns along it that agree to build between 9,000 and 15,000 homes.

If elected the Lib Dems would also work to encourage further private sector investment in rail freight terminals and rail-connected distribution parks. The party would set a “clear objective to shift more freight from road to rail”, and as part of this would change planning law to ensure new developments provide good freight access to retail, manufacturing and warehouse facilities.

The manifesto also pledges to ensure new rail franchises include a stronger focus on customers, with new requirements to integrate more effectively with other modes of transport.

(Image source: Danny Lawson/PA Wire)

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