Invest East Coast Rail calls on Government to show commitment to rail investment in Budget

Invest East Coast Rail is urging the Government to invest in improving the resilience of the existing rail network alongside support for new track in tomorrow’s Budget and the forthcoming Integrated Rail Plan.

Responding to the Prime Minister’s pledge last week to “invest massively” in the rail network, Invest East Coast Rail has set out the £11 billion of economic benefits that could be delivered through a package of schemes along the East Coast Main Line.

Constraints on the existing line make it vulnerable to disruption with 12 major incidents in 2018 costing the economy £46 million.

Cllr Keith Aspden, Chair of Invest East Coast Rail and Leader of City of York Council, said:

“As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, attracting people back to public transport will be critical to getting the economy moving and ensuring we have a resilient rail network will be critical in building that confidence.

“The East Coast Main Line is a critical piece of national infrastructure connecting communities and businesses along 500 miles from London to the North of Scotland and I hope this is reflected in the Budget and the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan.”

Cllr Martin Gannon, Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, said:
“We urge the Government to commit to major investment in the East Coast Main Line in the North East including the reopening of the Leamside Line in full. This investment is long-overdue, and we continue to make the case for urgent clarity on this key issue. Investment will provide greater capacity which will significantly boost our local economy as we look to recover from the impact of the pandemic.”

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