‘Northern Powerhouse’ promised rail funding

24 Jul 18

Rail infrastructure in the North will receive a funding boost, the government has announced.

The East Coast Main Line will receive investment of £780m, Theresa May said as she hosted a cabinet meeting in Gateshead on Monday.

May said: “Making Britain a country that works for everyone, in urban and rural regions, is a priority for my government – and a thriving economy across the Northern Powerhouse is central to that.

“We have set out major policies and investment as part of our Modern Industrial Strategy to unlock the potential in the North – and more than any government in history, we are making sure that we are delivering the outcomes that really matter to people who live and work here.”

Passengers travelling on long-distance journeys in the North will benefit from more seats and faster, more frequent journeys between Doncaster, Leeds and Newcastle, the government said.

In May, transport secretary Chris Grayling revealed that the East Coast Main Line would be brought back under public control following the failure of private companies to make payments on the £3.3bn contract.

Work to upgrade the train line will begin in 2019 and is set to be completed in the early 2020s.

The prime minister also confirmed that the government will advance legislation to formally conclude the North of Tyne Devolution Deal, which will hand greater powers to Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside.

The deal is worth £600m over 30 years and is expected to generate 10,000 new jobs in the region, according to the government.

Read Christian Wolmar’s blog for PF on rail franchising.

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