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New rail funding welcome but real improvements needed on the ground, say campaigners

12 October 2017

Campaign for Better Transport has welcomed the Government's rail funding proposals but has said passengers will need to see it delivering a better railway in reality.

Lianna Etkind, Public Transport Campaigner, Campaign for Better Transport said:

“The government’s £35bn investment for Network Rail to maintain the railways is a welcome commitment to the future of rail, but passengers and freight users will want to see this translate into real improvements to their journeys.

“Investment must anticipate and support future growth, as well as dealing with existing problems. The commitment to a new enhancements development programme is good news but there's no detail on how this will work in practice, and we have yet to see real commitments to funding the accessibility and rail freight improvements needed. 

“We also want to see money made available for improving rail freight links to ports, opening new stations and reopening closed lines, benefiting the economy, communities and the environment.

“We support the need for efficiency improvements, but caution against anything that would compromise the railway's proud safety record. Safeguards are needed so that other bidders meet the same standards and have the same levels of accountability as Network Rail."

Lianna continued:

 “Campaign for Better Transport has been pushing the Government to reconsider its axing of the rail electrification programme, so we look forward to hearing positive news, due early next year, about the funding for the TransPennine rail route, and what this might mean for passengers."

ENDS

For further information please contact Richard Watkins, Press Officer, at Campaign for Better Transport on 020 7566 6494 / 07984 773468  richard.watkins@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to editors