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Plan for Rail: Local government has a key role to play

Transport for the East Midlands (TfEM) offers a cautious welcome to the Williams-Shapps Rail Plan, but local political leaders want assurances that promised investment will still be delivered

Sir Peter Soulsby & Cllr Richard Davies
20 May 2021
East Midland`s Railway`s (EMR) first electric service has launched helping to reduce carbon emissions by 77% on its route between Corby and London St Pancras
East Midland`s Railway`s (EMR) first electric service has launched helping to reduce carbon emissions by 77% on its route between Corby and London St Pancras


Sir Peter Soulsby, chair of TfEM for the East Midlands and City Mayor of Leicester, said: “The establishment of a new arms-length body ‘Great British Railways’ should ensure that the management of track and train is better co-ordinated and improve the running of the railway. But it will be important that these new arrangements are responsive to the needs of local communities and businesses in the East Midlands.

“We must also ensure that the improvements to the region’s services and rolling stock previously promised by government are delivered in full. The multi-year Collaboration Agreement TfEM signed by ministers in September 2020 gives councils a voice in the management of our rail services to provide local accountability, and we look forward to working with GBR to deliver a better railway for the East Midlands.”

Cllr Richard Davies, vice chair of TfEM and transport lead for Lincolnshire County Council, added: “This week EMR introduced the first phase of a promised programme of rail improvements in the East Midlands, including new inter-city and regional services, and the first electric trains serving Corby. If we are to ‘build back better’ from Covid and support our local communities and businesses, we must continue to invest in our railway.

“Our rural and coastal areas, in particular, have suffered from poor rail services for many years, and it is vital that all the enhancements set out in the previous franchise agreement are delivered under these new arrangements. Modern, flexible and affordable ticketing will also be key, and I am pleased to see that this is part of the government’s thinking.”

Transport for the East Midlands (TfEM) brings together the Rregion’s local transport authorities under the auspices of East Midlands Councils to provide collective leadership on strategic transport issues

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