The Rail Industry has welcomed a Government announcement confirming that £672 million worth of levelling up funding will be invested to develop better transport links across the UK.
Key rail projects which will see funding as part of the package include:
- Lincoln Western Growth Corridor (WGC) – Eastern Transport Access Scheme: £20 million to build two bridges in Lincoln to run across the East Midlands Railway track.
- Peterborough Station Enhancements and Connectivity: Nearly £48 million to build a new entrance and footbridge for Peterborough train station.
- Cardiff Crossrail Phase 1: £50 million for Crossrail Cardiff which will help deliver a new line between Cardiff Bay and Cardiff Central Station.
- Mid Cornwall Metro: Nearly £50 million to create a direct train service linking Newquay, St Austell, Truro, and Falmouth alongside better walking and cycling access to stations.
- West Devon Transport Hub: In Devon, there will be £13.5 million for a new railway station on the eastern edge of Okehampton – the West Devon Transport Hub – complete with high quality cycle facilities and EV charging points on site to better connect communities and promote active travel.
Responding to the announcement, RIA Midlands & Eastern Lead, Milda Manomaityte, said:
“This is great news for the Midlands & Eastern regions as rail investment enhances connectivity, spurs economic growth, supports jobs and generates tax revenue. £2.50 of income is generated in the wider economy for every £1 spent.
“So, we welcome that the Government has recognised the power of rail to level up, with the Lincoln Western Growth Corridor and Peterborough Station Enhancements projects set grow local economies and spread opportunity.
“We urge the Government to keep investing in rail, supporting communities across the country and ensuring they benefit from an enhanced rail network.”
GWR Head of Strategic Service Development Matthew Barnes said: “This really is super news for rail and wider sustainable transport choices across the South West.
“A new station at Okehampton will build on the massive success that the reopening of the Dartmoor Line has already had. And the improvement to Newquay that the Mid Cornwall Metro will bring will really enhance services, better connecting people with jobs, students with education services, and leisure opportunities for all – providing valuable support for the community and local economies.”
Nationally, more than 100 projects have been awarded a share of £2.1 billion from round two of the Government’s fund to create jobs and boost the economy.
“Through greater investment in local areas, we can grow the economy, create good jobs and spread opportunity everywhere,” said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
“That’s why we are backing more than 100 projects with new transformational funding to level up local communities across the United Kingdom.
“By reaching even more parts of the country than before, we will build a future of optimism and pride in people’s lives and the places they call home.”
With funding now confirmed, detailed plans can be developed and planning consent sought before the start of construction work.
Further information on the latest round of Levelling Up funding can be found here.
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