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Government announce rail investment

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Transport Secretary Justine Greening has announced a £16 billion growth-boosting railway upgrade across England and Wales.

People in the UK are starting to use public transport more as a result of the high costs of running a car, which is why the Government have developed an investment project that will be named the High Level Output Specification (HLOS) and will cover 2014 to 2019. The aim of the programme is to make railways more financially and environmentally sustainable which can support economic growth and deliver for passengers and freight customers.

£9.4billion will go towards infrastructure enhancement whereas £5.2bn has already been committed to Thameslink, Crossrail and electrification of the Great Western main line for the North West and Yorkshire. The rest of the investment will include an electric spine which is a freight corridor linking the core centre of the East and West Midlands, increased rail capacity for commuters, investments in stations and better passenger journey times.

The Governments vision for railways in England and Wales is for them to be faster, more reliable, less crowded and better for the environment. The latest investment that has been agreed will see the biggest expansion in rail travel in England and Wales in over 150 years. Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have both welcomed the investment to better the rail network and provide better services for passengers.

Transport Secretary Justine Greening commented on the investment: “Investment on this scale, in every region of the country, shows how this coalition government is focused on delivering an affordable, reliable and faster railway network that drives jobs and growth.

“These plans to increase capacity and shorten journey times on intercity, commuter and freight services are, alongside our plans for high speed rail, absolutely key to securing our country’s prosperity in the decades ahead.”

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By Amanda Bainbridge