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

​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 Kim Groves, Vice Chair for the North for Invest East Coast Rail and Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:

“A reliable and resilient East Coast Main Line is critical to ensuring West Yorkshire recovers as quickly as possible from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and is a central element of the ambitious plans for the future of transport in our region we have set out in our Connectivity Infrastructure Plan.

“Investing in East Coast Main Line will deliver significant economic benefits to our region while also ensuring we can maximise the benefits of its integration with HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, an upgraded Transpennine line and electrification of the network.”