Midland Main Line Funding September 2015

Thank you for contacting me regarding funding for upgrading of the Midland Main Line.

I appreciate and share the concerns of passengers who are being once again let down by the current Conservative Government as they paused both a £1.1 billion scheme to electrify the line and previously approved £200 towards the line’s improvement.

I fully support the electrification of the line and its upgrade. It is appalling that a train journey between York and London takes only five minutes more than between London and Nottingham despite York being 70 miles further away from London.

It was Prime Minister David Cameron himself who, back in 2012, announced the plans to fully electrify the Midland Main Line between Bedford and Sheffield. Both the PM and the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin were promising before the general election that the electrification would happen during the current parliament and we now know that they already knew that was a promise they were going to break.

Next January rail fares will have risen by a quarter since 2010 which is almost three times faster than wages during the same period. It is alarming that despite such a huge increase, which Ministers claimed would fund investment, Nottingham citizens have not seen any improvements on their train journeys.

I hope the Government will listen to the concerns that many passengers have raised about the funding for upgrading of the Midland Main Line.

I urge Network Rail, which is currently undertaking review of the government’s plans for future railway investments, to strongly recommend the electrification and upgrade of the Midland Main Line. Not only that will shorten the travel time for millions of passengers but it will also bring hundreds of jobs for Nottingham and pump millions of pounds into the local economy.

I believe passengers deserve a fairer deal on our railways and that we need a transport system that delivers better value for money and gives passengers a real voice in how services are run. This is why Labour has launched the Don’t Pull the Plug campaign, which calls on the Conservative Government to honour its promises and reinstate plans to electrify the Midland Main Line. We are also demanding that this Government comes clean on how the decision to ‘pause’ these projects was reached and exactly when Ministers knew that the electrification programme was in jeopardy.

Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views on this extremely important issue.