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30 September 2015

Midland Mainline Electrification Works to Resume

Leaders in the East Midlands have welcomed the announcement by Government that the investment for the electrification of the Midland Mainline, ‘critical to delivering a reliable and sustainable railway and tackling overcrowding’, has been ‘un-paused’.

Today’s announcement from the Department for Transport (DfT) and Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin means that work to electrify the Midland Mainline - the vital long-distance corridor which serves the UK's industrial heartland - will resume under plans announced as part of Sir Peter Hendy's work to restart Network Rail's upgrade programme.

Network Rail will now work with DFT to recommence Sir Peter Hendy’s proposals that line speed and capacity improvement works already in hand are added to, with electrification of the line north of Bedford to Kettering and Corby by 2019 and the line North of Kettering to Leicester, Derby/Nottingham and Sheffield by 2023, a delay of 2–3 years from initial proposals. 

Cllr Martin Hill (Chairman of East Midlands Councils) and Cllr Jon Collins and Cllr Neil Clarke (Vice-Chairmen) said:

“This is a good announcement and we're pleased that the Secretary of State has given this scheme the go-ahead. Electrification is crucial for our long term economic prosperity – especially given the Government’s commitment to HS2. It is particularly reassuring that the Government is convinced in the strength of our business case. This success is testament to joint efforts of the regions’ businesses, council leaders and MPs.”

The announcement follows the Parliamentary meeting organised by East Midlands Councils (EMC) on 16th September where MPs, Council Leaders, and Business Representatives met to progress the campaign for electrification of the Midland Mainline and supported the clear benefits of electrification to the region which include faster, more frequent and more reliable services, creating jobs and serving as a huge economic boost.

The announcement also comes in advance of a high profile regional meeting with Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin and Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy on 4th November when regional leaders will also stress the need for investment in modern rolling stock to ensure the region can take full advantage of the benefits of electrification.

End of text.

Notes to Editors:

The Midland Mainline - Why is it Important?

  1. Carries more than 13 million passengers a year. 
  2. Is the slowest of any of the inter-city lines and due to continual under-investment, Midland Mainline trains are rarely able to go at their top speed.
  3. Connects 4 of the largest cities (Derby, Leicester, Nottingham, Sheffield), and one of the fastest growing areas in England, to London and each other. 
  4. Passenger numbers have increased by 130% over the last 15 years and a further 30% rise is expected in the next 10 years.

The Business Case – the combined upgrade and electrification of MML will: 

  1. Generate over £450 million of economic benefits to the region per annum.
  2. Mean a quicker and more reliable service; cutting the journey time between London and Sheffield by up to 15 minutes; meaning quicker services between London, Leicester, Nottingham and Derby.
  3. Save the rail industry £60m per annum in running costs.
  4. Slash carbon emissions.
  5. Improve freight access to our rail network whilst reducing conflicts with passenger services.

East Midlands Councils is the consultative forum for local authorities in the region. It provides support to Councils to improve their services and is a strong voice for the East Midlands. www.emcouncils.gov.uk

Contact

For further information please contact:

Stuart Young, Executive Director, East Midlands Councils

Tel: 01664 502620

E-mail: stuart.young@emcouncils.gov.uk 

ENDS. 

All news releases from East Midlands Councils are emailed to relevant media organisations throughout the East Midlands and beyond. Please keep us up-to-date with your contact details and inform us of any changes. 

All news releases can be viewed on our website at http://www.emcouncils.gov.uk/Press-releases 

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