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Roads to Nowhere

Call for fund to help reverse Beeching cuts

26 October 2017

Campaign for Better Transport has written to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP urging him to introduce a new fund to pay for the opening of additional railway lines and stations across the country to help reverse some of Dr Beeching’s now infamous cuts.

Campaigners argue a Network Development Fund could pay for the development and implementation of new or reopened lines and stations to give communities better access to employment and education; reduce pressure on the road network; and unlock plans for new housing and other development.

Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: “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 no clear process or funding stream for dealing with projects to expand the network, leaving anyone pursuing a proposal open to high costs and slow progress, regardless of how well supported and strategically beneficial the proposal is. Despite this, there is no shortage of projects aiming to add new stations, track and even whole lines to the network. In fact over 200 proposals are out there at various stages of development, from long-term dreams to those responding to a pressing need.

The new Network Development Fund proposed by Campaign for Better Transport could help address this gap by paying for project development supported by a new approvals process. Proposals for new and reopened stations and lines which reach an agreed standard could then join a pool of national projects creating a pipeline of schemes to be taken to full development and implementation.

ENDS

For further information please contact Alice Ridley on 020 7566 6495 / 07984 773 468 or alice.ridley@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  1. Read the letter in full below.
  2. Read Campaign for Better Transport’s Expanding the Railways report.
  3. Read Campaign for Better Transport’s top 12 reopenings.
  4. There have been two rounds of the New Stations Fund, but this is separate from the main railway funding settlement and is not a designated fund within it.
  5. The 1960’s Beeching cuts report led to the closure of over 55 per cent of rail stations and the loss of 30 per cent of route miles.
  6.  Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).