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Campaign for Better Transport calls on DfT for new funding for track and stations

A new Rail Development Fund to pay for the construction of new track and stations across the UK has been recommended by the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT).

The organisation has penned a letter to transport secretary Chris Grayling which advises the launch of a new cash supply specifically dedicated to the development of new infrastructure.

CBT based its conclusions on the recent ‘Expanding the Railways’ report – a joint venture between the campaign and the DfT – which was meant to create a framework for rail projects to follow from inception through to completion.

The statement follows news that the government will be allotting £48bn of grants and rail revenue to rail spending in CP6.

Although much has changed in rail since the 1960s, the report points to the famous ‘Beeching Axe’ of that period and the gaps which it left in popular and longstanding local services.

Stephen Joseph, CBT’s chief executive, commented: “There a huge is demand for new or reinstated rail connections out there, but very few means of making them a reality.

“We regularly hear from local authorities, developers and communities with very good proposals who have reached a brick wall when it comes to funding.

“That’s why we’re asking the transport secretary to create a new Network Development Fund and help reverse some of the damage done to our railways by Dr Beeching’s hatchet job more than sixty years ago.”

Currently there is a lack of clear direction for new rail expansion projects – although more than 200 proposals came up during the development review, many to reopen disused services.

The Rail Development Fund plans would streamline these projects and help to fund them from one central source.

“Passenger numbers have more than doubled in the past 20 years and our country’s railways need to adapt to cope with this and future demands,” a DfT spokesperson told RTM. “That is why we are investing over £40bn in our network, including around £15bn on rail enhancements as part of the biggest rail modernisation programme for over a century.

“This includes investing in new stations and services across the country. We continue to look at how we can further improve rail journeys for passengers.”

Top image: Dominic Lipinski, PA Wire

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Andrew Gwilt   26/10/2017 at 21:51

New railway stations being built means more people will be using the trains on a day basis which is a good idea. As the UK’s railways are becoming more busier with passengers using the trains to commute from home to work. As well traveling on the trains for leisure purposes and even going out on day trips by using the trains. I use the trains any day of the month and I love traveling on the trains. Even using the London Underground aswell. When I do plan to go to London for a day trip.

J, Leicester   27/10/2017 at 09:33

May I suggest the Leicester - Burton route as a priority for the CfBT to promote? Up and coming area, a town in Coalville that is crying out for better transport links and some sort of investment into its decrepid centre, housebuilding everywhere along the route, big logistical developments around Bardon Hill that would make it a viable commuting route and green credentials through being a public transport project at the heart of the National Forest. And, of course, a Beeching casualty. There's big public demand but zero will to push the point from the local council, who have made great efforts at every opportunity to dismiss the proposal on cost grounds despite some decidedly dodgy calculations in their BCR reports. It needs a central government cash injection if it's ever going to happen - Grayling and his ilk could do worse than to throw the people of Leicestershire an olive branch after the Midland Mainline omnishambles.

Tothehills   27/10/2017 at 09:40

We, in this country always seem to miss infrastructure investment opportunities when they pass us. At great expense they have built "The Mall" outside of Bristol that round this time of year is clogged with traffic and traffic jams up and down the M4 and M5. Now that BAe has closed the runway and is being developed for housing - it would have been so simple to run a 1 mile or so branch connection from the Bristol Parkway - Avonmouth Branch. This would have served the shopping area and an industrial area and better facilitated travel in the area in a post carbon environment. Another missed opportunity!

Nick   27/10/2017 at 18:48

Tothehills, the problem with Cribbs Causeway & other similar establishments is that they are "leisure" centres, so you're unlikely to get couples/families using a train. My son+ drive there from Gloucester for a day out... As for a new station, one could be justified on the side of the runway, which I believe has been proposed.

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