Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has today (3 Sept) set out a new collaboration agreement between local leaders in the East Midlands in order to provide them more power in deciding how rail services can support improvements across the region.
The Department for Transport has signed a multi-year agreement with Transport for the East Midlands (TfEM) that provides local leaders with a strong voice in the management of the East Midlands franchise, which has been operated by East Midlands Railway (EMR) since August 2019.
To guarantee the local people who use these services have their voices heard, the Government is jointly funding with TfEM two locally-based rail officers who will work closely with the Department and stakeholders.
Employed by TfEM, one of the posts will lead stakeholder engagement with the DfT and East Midlands Railway to secure better outcome for local communities and businesses while the other is a support post to gather, analyse and present performance data to help the case for improvement and or investment.
This new set-up will enhance the Department’s management of the East Midlands franchise and provide a mechanism through which councils and local stakeholders can review and address performance issues, positively influence investment decisions in the railway and call for improvements to services.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “This bespoke collaboration agreement delivers a railway truly focused on meeting the needs of the passengers who use it. It provides councils and local leaders with a greater voice in the management of the services which matter to them, helping deliver positive long-term changes focused on what passengers want.
“Our railways are at the heart of this country’s transport links, and it is essential that we work closely with Transport for the East Midlands to deliver the modern, punctual and reliable journeys people expect.”
Will Rogers, Managing Director, East Midlands Railway, said: "Working in partnership with our local partners is absolutely vital to ensure the railway meets the needs and supports the aspirations of our cities, towns and communities.
"We have worked closely with Transport for the East Midlands since the start of the franchise to develop and improve the service we provide. This further investment and formal collaboration agreement will further develop and strengthen our partnership as we invest to improve the railway across the East Midlands and beyond."