8 July 2015
Campaigner for Better Transport has called for urgent action to stop the lights going out on the Northern Powerhouse after the Chancellor failed to support key rail investment in his Budget Statement. The organisation is relaunching its Right Track North campaign in order to hold the Government to account.
Martin Abrams, Public Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport said
"The Northern Powerhouse is at risk of completely unraveling. Key rail projects have been shelved and other much need investments are under pressure. The Budget has not gone anywhere near far enough in rebalancing the economy and supporting northern cities. He now needs to take urgent action if he's to stop the whole initiative sinking into the sand."
Campaign for Better Transport has identified two key reasons why the Northern Powerhouse is under pressure:
- The Department for Transport has stepped in to address underperformance at Network Rail. Many of the projects within Network Rail's £38bn investment plan are now at risk of being delayed with no timetable for their resumption yet indicated.
- Committed investment in rail schemes connected with the Northern Powerhouse are currently less than 25 per cent of the £13bn that the Department for Communities and Local Government has claimed.
The Campaign for Better Transport is relaunching its Right Track North campaign, which successfully helped make the case for transformative investment in the north's rail network under the last administration to be delivered through the Northern Transport Strategy, and the refranchising of Northern Rail and TransPennine Express.
Collectively, this included major rail electrification projects, rolling stock replacements (including Pacers) and a single simplified ticketing for the whole of northern England all promised before the General Election.
Martin Abrams said
"The Government said it would deliver fast, high capacity and high quality rail connections across the north of England. This important commitment should not be renaged upon. We are relaunching our Right Track North campaign to hold Government to account make sure the vital investments are made to get the project back on track."
For further information please contact:
Richard Watkins, Press Officer, at Campaign for Better Transport on 020 7566 6494, 07984 773468 or email@example.com
Notes to editors
1. Campaign for Better Transport’s Right Track North campaign is committed to ensuring the North of England gets the fast, high capacity and high quality rail connections it deserves.
2. 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)