Transport and Growth News

Transport for the East Midlands (TfEM) has offered a cautious welcome to the Government’s Rail White Paper

20 May 2021

Transport for the East Midlands (TfEM) has offered a cautious welcome to the Government’s Rail White Paper (Williams-Shapps Rail Plan) published today, but local political leaders want assurances that promised investment will still be delivered.

Sir Peter Soulsby, Chair of TfEM and City Mayor of Leicester said:

“The establishment of a new arms-length body ‘Great British Railways’ should ensure that the management of track and train is better co-ordinated and improve the running of the railway.  But it will be important that these new arrangements are responsive to the needs of local communities and businesses in the East Midlands. We must also ensure that the improvements to the Region’s services and rolling stock previously promised by Government are delivered in full.  The multi-year Collaboration Agreement TfEM signed by Ministers in September 2020 gives councils a voice in the management of our rail services to provide local accountability, and we look forward to working with GBR to deliver a better railway for the East Midlands.   

Cllr Richard Davies, Vice Chair of TfEM and Transport Lead for Lincolnshire County Council said:

“This week EMR introduced the first phase of a promised program of rail improvements in the East Midlands, including new inter-city and regional services, and the first electric trains serving Corby. If we are to ‘build back better’ from Covid and support our local communities and businesses, we must continue to invest in our railway.  Our rural and coastal areas in particular have suffered from poor rail services for many years, and it is vital that all the enhancements set out in the previous Franchise Agreement are delivered under these new arrangements.  Modern, flexible and affordable ticketing will also be key, and I am pleased to see that this is part of the Government’s thinking.

Notes:

TfEM brings together the Region’s Local Transport Authorities under the auspices of East Midlands Councils to provide collective leadership on strategic transport issues.

TfEM signed a Multi-year Collaboration Agreement with the Department of Transport in September 2020 to provide local input into the management of rail services in the East Midlands. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/greater-voice-for-rail-passengers-in-new-collaboration-between-government-and-east-midlands-transport-leaders