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Give the North new trains, better stations and zoned fares if you want to address the North-South divide, new report tells Government

17 November 2014
A report to be launched to rail experts and franchise bidders this Wednesday at the National Rail Museum will call for a series of 'stepping stones' to bring about the vision of a Northern Powerhouse that national and local governments are increasingly embracing.

Prepared by Greengauge 21, experts on the region's current and potential rail infrastructure, the report urges the Government to enshrine in new franchise agreements for Northern and TransPennine Express significant improvements, such as:

  • The launch of new regional express rail network for the North and Midlands
  • Simplified fares, smart ticketing and a zonal fares structure across the region
  • Replacement of all Pacer trains and further electrification

Chief Executive Stephen Joseph of Campaign for Better Transport said:

"Northern cities like Liverpool and Leeds have seen major regeneration initiatives recently, and we're extremely pleased to hear politicians from many parties and local government voice their support for a rail network that makes the most of these economic opportunities. But in order for the rhetoric to become reality, the Government and the bidders who win these two key franchises simply must take on board the recommendations of this report, which offers clear, practical steps that need to be taken to give people, businesses and the cities of the region the rail network they deserve. Another ‘minimum cost’ franchise, like the previous one, would be a disaster for northern cities."

Greengauge 21's summary report will be launched at a debate with franchise bidders and industry experts and campaigners this Wednesday 19 November as part of the Right Track North campaign, and press are warmly invited to attend to get the report and hear the panel debate.


For further information please contact Chloë Darlington at Campaign for Better Transport, on 020 7566 6495 / 07984 773 468 or chloe.darlington@bettertransport.org.uk


Notes to Editors

  1. 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).
  2. Greengauge 21 is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. The company was founded by Jim Steer, one of the UK’s leading transport sector specialists. The organisation has been conceived as an umbrella under which all those with an interest in a high speed rail network can come together and openly and publicly debate the merits of alternative routes, priorities and technologies, alternative implementation strategies and the economic and environmental benefits for Britain. Greengauge 21 has no vested interest and is not seeking to be part of any direct beneficiary (construction company, operating company etc.). The company seeks to act in the national and the public interest, by carrying out research and bringing forward evidence so that a full and open debate on high-speed rail can take place.
  3. The report will be launched at the National Rail Museum in York on Wednesday 19 November 2014. More information is at http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/blog/better-transport/event-find-out-what-governments-got-planned-norths-railways.

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