23/Aug/2014 - Last News Update: 11:57

'Multi-billion' rail cash investment to be announced

Category: Business

Published: 14th Jul 2012 15:24:23

The government is expected to announce a plan of rail investment costing billions of pounds on Monday.

The programme will amount to £10bn during 2014-2019, the Guardian reports.

It includes a £500m scheme to electrify the Midland Main Line route between St Pancras, the east Midlands and Sheffield.

BBC political correspondent Louise Stewart quoted a government source as calling the rail investment programme "the biggest since the Victorian era."

Our correspondent said ministers wanted to "create growth and cut carbon".

It has been a tough week for the Transport Secretary Justine Greening.

She was again forced to delay the publication of her long awaited aviation strategy due to Coalition tensions, particularly over the possibility of building a third runway at Heathrow.

She and the government are hoping for better headlines with the announcement of what is being billed as "the biggest investment in the railways since the Victorian era".

A source at the DfT said this major programme of investment in rail, estimated to be £10bn, will help by "creating growth and cutting carbon emissions".

But at a time of fiscal tightening it could be the fare payers who end up picking up the cost with inflation busting fare increases.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has refused officially to confirm the report in the Guardian, which says PM David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg will join forces to make an announcement.

The paper reports that further plans include electrification of the Great Western Line from London to Swansea via Cardiff; a "northern hub" of new projects around Manchester; and an upgrade of parts of the East Coast Main Line from London to the north of England.

BBC Radio Derby political reporter Chris Doidge, meanwhile, said the Varsity line linking Oxford and Cambridge could also be reopened; most of it was closed to passengers following the Beeching Report in the 1960s.

The expected announcement follows the news on Thursday that a new £500m rail link to Heathrow Airport - which will cut journeys by up to 30 minutes - had been given the go ahead.

A new stretch of track will be built from Slough to Heathrow which means that, from 2021, passengers travelling from south Wales, the west of England and the Thames Valley on the Great Western main line will no longer need to travel via London Paddington.

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BBC News, 2012. 'Multi-billion' rail cash investment to be announced [Online] (Updated 14th Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1440551/Multi-billion-rail-cash-investment-to-be-announced [Accessed 23rd Aug 2014]

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