East Coast rail spending ‘an inadequate rehash’

Stewart Arnold

The Leader of the Yorkshire Party has condemned a Government confirmation of £780m spending plans for the East Coast rail line in Yorkshire as “an inadequate rehash”.

Stewart Arnold said; “Rail passengers in Yorkshire have passed through weary and are approaching angry when it comes to Government announcements on the region’s trains.

“Everyone knows that widespread improvements on Yorkshire’s rail network are way overdue but the Government seems unwilling to commit, instead relaunching old money and rowing back on timescales.

“This is far too typical of the way Governments of all colours have looked at Yorkshire over the past generation.”

The Yorkshire Post too attacked the Government’s stance on local transport, while acknowledging the East Coast investment.

The newspaper pointed out: “No new money for the infrastructure work that is planned on the East Coast Main Line route is being promised beyond funds that had already been announced; the current proposals do not include previously-promised capacity upgrades for services between York and Newcastle and what is due to happen is still years away.

“The improvements, including regular journey times of two hours between Leeds and London by May 2020 as well as new services to Huddersfield and Middlesbrough, were first announced back in 2015 … and were meant to have been in place by May 2020. However, the Department for Transport can now only say the work will be done by the early 2020s.”

Full opinion column at: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/opinion/the-yorkshire-post-says-government-s-litmus-test-on-finally-delivering-780m-rail-improvements-1-9265996

Earlier this week (July 2018) the Yorkshire Party focused on transport, and particularly rail travel, in the region. “When Yorkshire travels it is despite Government under-investment, poor rail company performance and an inefficient transport system,” it said.

Also this week, the BBC’s Spencer Stokes reported on how restoring a missing rail link between Colne in Lancashire and Skipton in North Yorkshire would allow the Drax Power station near Selby, North Yorks to get its imported biomass fuel from the Port of Liverpool in half the time. 

This is the sort of  transport investment scheme the Yorkshire Party says could help to maximise economic development in the region and improve services for travellers.

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