HomeGovernanceAutumn budget brings good news for decommissioned rail lines

Autumn budget brings good news for decommissioned rail lines

WEEKLY NEWSLETTER SIGN UP

The Autumn Budget has confirmed thirteen more projects have been awarded up to £50,000 to progress plans for reviving stations and lines as part of the government’s Restoring Your Railway programme.

These latest projects will receive a share of the third round of the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund, to help progress plans to deliver new routes and improved connectivity, as well as developing plans for new stations.  Projects that show strong promise will be funded further, with a focus on accelerating the delivery of schemes to ensure communities see benefits as quickly as possible. 

The latest announcement has been made more than 50 years since the railways were radically reshaped during the Beeching cuts of the 1960s – when thousands of miles of both track and associated stations were closed.

Projects given funding include:

  • Restoring the Don Valley Line between Sheffield and Stocksbridge in Yorkshire to regular passenger services. 
  • Reconnecting the Staffordshire town of Leek to the rail network with the Stoke-Leek line.
  • Restarting the connection between Stockport and Ashton in the North West.
  • Rebuilding the line between Tavistock and Bere Alston in Devon, connecting Tavistock and Plymouth by rail.

Two projects from round one of the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund, announced in May 2020, are also being funded to progress with further development work: the Waterside line (Southampton to Fawley via Hythe) and Wellington and Cullompton stations in Somerset and Devon respectively. Other projects are under consideration as the initial ideas development work is completed and assessed. 

The Waterside Line received a further £7 million of investment for the next stage in development following success in round one of the Ideas Fund. This scheme could see services reintroduced between Southampton and Fawley, providing faster journey times and help support a shift to more sustainable modes of transport, while supporting employment opportunities and new homes being built locally. The area saw its rail links cut in 1966 and local roads have since become heavily congested.

The development of new stations at Wellington and Cullompton, following closures in the 1960s, could see stations added to connect communities in Somerset and Devon. With a further £5m of funding announced, these stations have potential to open up a credible alternative to the car for residents, relieving congestion on the M5 and A38. The stations would also support nearly 10,000 new homes that are planned for the area.

Fifteen proposals from round two of Restoring Your Railway were announced in November 2020.

Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Our efforts to undo the damage of the Beeching closures are gathering pace, with work on new stations and lines that can level up communities right across the UK.

“I share the enthusiasm and ambition of local campaigners across the country pushing for their local lines to be reopened, and this additional funding will help progress many more schemes. 

“With the Dartmoor line opening in the coming days, we’re already laying tracks across the country and connecting communities for the first time in decades.”

Over the past year, proposals from MPs alongside local authorities, communities and campaigners, for the third round of the Ideas Fund were considered by an expert panel, chaired by the Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris and including Network Rail Chair Sir Peter Hendy.

Entries have been judged on their ability to deliver economic benefits and support for left-behind communities, with investment targeted at schemes with the potential to regenerate local economies by opening up access to jobs and education, supporting new housing developments and boosting tourism.

The Beeching cuts saw tracks ripped up or grassed over, iconic viaducts and bridges left without a purpose and communities set adrift. Initially proposed by British Rail chief Dr Richard Beeching in 1963, passenger services were ended on around a third of the rail network, with more than 2,300 stations closed and up to 5,000 miles of track axed across the UK.

The full list of projects awarded funding in all three rounds of Restoring Your Railway:

Scheme Name Scheme Region Ideas Fund Round
To reinstate the passing loop between St Albans Abbey and Watford Junction (Abbey Line) East 1
To reintroduce passenger services on the Leicester to Burton (Ivanhoe) line East Midlands 1
To reinstate the Bury-Heywood-Rochdale lines The North West 1
To reintroduce passenger services between Clitheroe and Hellifield and explore freight options The North West 1
To introduce passenger services on the Totton-Fawley (Waterside) line The South East 1
To reinstate branch lines on the Isle of Wight The South East 1
To reinstate rail access to Devizes via a new station at Lydeway The South West 1
To re-open of Wellington and Cullompton stations The South West 1
To re-open the Meir station between Stoke-On-Trent and North Staffordshire West Midlands 1
To reintroduce passenger services on the Barrow Hill line between Sheffield and Chesterfield Yorkshire and Humberside 1
Reopened lines and new passenger services, Alfreton – Ashfield (Maid Marian Line) East Midlands 2
Reopened lines and new passenger services, Melton Mowbray – Nottingham East Midlands 2
New Station at Ferryhill, Ferryhill – Stockton-on-Tees The North East 2
Reopened lines and new passenger services, Consett-Newcastle The North East 2
Enhanced existing passenger services, Preston – Blackpool South The North West 2
New station at Beeston Castle and Tarporley, Crewe – Chester The North West 2
Reopened lines and new passenger services, Bolton-Radcliffe / Bolton-Bury The North West 2
Enhanced existing passenger services, Truro – Falmouth The South West 2
New Station at Langport and Somerton, Castle Cary – Taunton The South West 2
New Station at St Anne’s Park, Bristol Temple Meads – Bath Spa The South West 2
Reopened lines and new passenger services, Kemble – Cirencester The South West 2
Reopened lines and new passenger services, Wareham – Swanage The South West 2
Reopened lines and new passenger services, Stratford Upon Avon – Honeybourne – Worcester/Oxford West Midlands 2
New Station at Waverley, Sheffield – Chesterfield Yorkshire and Humberside 2
Reopened lines and new passenger services, Gainsborough – Barton Yorkshire and Humberside 2
Reopen the Darlington – Weardale line to passenger services North East 3
Reopen the Ashton – Stockport line to passenger services North West 3
Reopen the Middlewich line to passenger services North West 3
Reopen the Rawtenstall – Buckley Wells line to passenger services North West 3
Reopen Corsham Station South West 3
Reopen Stonehouse Bristol Road station South West 3
Reinstate the line and provision of new services, Tavistock – Plymouth South West 3
Reopen the Gaerwen – Amlwch line, Anglesey to passenger services Wales 3
Reopen the Oswestry – Gobowen line West Midlands 3
Reopen the Stoke – Leek line West Midlands 3
Reopen the Askern Branch line Yorkshire and Humberside 3
Reopen the Don Valley line to passenger services Yorkshire and Humberside 3
Reinstate the Beverley – York line Yorkshire and Humberside 3

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest news

Keeping GBR hopes on track with data innovations and expertise

Paul Coleman, account and customer experience executive at ITAL, considers modernisation of the railway in a new state-owned era. What are the opportunities and...

Union Connectivity Review report released

The Department for Transport has published the final report of its Union Connectivity Review, led by Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy. It makes...

Crossrail commences Trial Operations on the Elizabeth line.

Crossrail – the project that will deliver the Elizabeth line under London – started Trial Operations on Saturday 20 November 2021 in preparation for...
- Advertisement -

More news

Integrated Rail Plan – reactions are almost all negative

One day after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps addressed the House of Commons to explain his Integrated Rail Plan (IRP), quite a number of reactions...

Body-worn camera evidence helps secure conviction for assault

Footage from body-worn cameras has been used successfully to help secure a conviction in a case of physical assault against Transport for London (TfL)...

Eversholt and Gemini to convert Class 321 units for express freight

Eversholt Rail and Gemini Rail Services have announced a programme to convert four Class 321 units for Swift Express Freight. Work to convert the units...
NEWSLETTER SIGN UP