Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Investment needed in Humber rail networks

Further investment is needed in the Humber rail network to support economic growth and competitiveness in the area.

The chairman of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership Lord Haskins made this statement in a letter to the Transport Secretary, calling for investment to be included in the Government’s new five year plans for railways, due to be published later this month.

Proposed improvements include the extension of the current trans-Pennine electrification programme, which is due to go from Manchester to Leeds and York, on to Hull.

The LEP also believes that the Government should restate its commitment to improving slow line speeds and outdated signalling infrastructure, such as between Hessle and Gilberdyke and Cleethorpes and Doncaster.

Lord Haskins said: “We can’t afford to have a second class connection to the rest of the rail network so it is important that these improvements go ahead. Some smaller scale upgrades are already in the rail industry’s plans but they depend on Government funding, which is why we’re making our case.

The LEP argues that gauge clearance to W10/12 standard is also required, which would mean raising the height of some overhead structures to enable larger containers to be transported from the Humber ports by rail.

He continued: “It would be a massive missed opportunity not to continue electrification on to Hull, which could threaten East Yorkshire’s future connectivity with Leeds and Manchester. It’s a mostly straight, flat route so it would be cost effective to do and enable faster and more frequent services.

The Department for Transport is due to publish its High Level Output Specification for the railways this month.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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