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Roads to Nowhere

Passengers face ‘jam tomorrow’ approach to rail upgrades while fares expected to soar

20th July 2017

In response to the publication of the Government’s High Level Output Specification (HLOS) today, Lianna Etkind, Campaign for Better Transport’s public transport campaigner, said:

“While we welcome a commitment to renewals and resilience, this HLOS has a troubling lack of commitment to investing our country’s rail infrastructure. Despite record passenger numbers and unprecedented farebox revenue, a ‘pipeline approach’ risks becoming an excuse for the Government to step back from the ambitious infrastructure projects passengers so badly need.

“Five years ago, the Government were trumpeting the biggest investment in the railways since the Victorians. Today, passengers face spiraling fares while investment is put on the back burner. Passengers in the north will feel most cheated by today’s announcement, given that long-delayed TransPennine and Midlands electrification projects seem to have been dropped.

“Passengers cannot be expected to continue paying ever-rising fares with no guarantee of investment to tackle regional inequalities, improve accessibility, expand railfreight and support modern, sustainable cities. Less than a month ago, the Government announced more than £6 billion for expanding roads, and it’s deeply concerning that when so much money is being poured into concreting over the countryside, rail expansion is in doubt."

ENDS

For further information please contact Lianna Etkind, public transport campaigner at Campaign for Better Transport, on 020 7566 6489 or lianna.etkind@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to Editors