A pause is still a pause on Midlands Mainline, says Rail minister

 

Rail minister Claire Perry was unable to give cross-party MPs the assurances they were looking for over the suspended Midlands Mainline electrification programme in a Westminster debate.

Electrification of the Midland Mainline linking London to Sheffield was officially paused this summer along with electrification on the Transpennine route between Leeds and Manchester, following a dismal run of project delivery from Network Rail.

Harry Harpham MP (Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough, Labour) secured the debate to raise cross-party concern over the issue, with Ms Perry in attendance to give a response.

However Ms Perry did not concede to demands to guarantee a date for resumption of the programme and other smaller works on the line while electrification is paused.

”Local
Rail minister Claire Perry

She suggested that no firm assurance could be given until after the Hendy review of the Network Rail’s project delivery plan under the current investment period – control period 5 2014-19 – however listed works that were currently in progress.

Sir Peter Hendy, former commissioner of Transport for London, is the new chairman of Network Rail and was asked by government to report by autumn 2015 with a plan ‘to get the rail investment programme back onto a sustainable footing’.

Ms Perry said: ‘I am happy to give what perhaps shouldn’t be a cast-iron, but a stainless steel guarantee that £38bn of investment will be spent on British railways over the next few years.

‘A pause is a pause…Network Rail are tasked with delivering these improvements we are relying on Hendy and his team to come back and set out exactly what that delivery programme looks like. He will shortly deliver a plan that will approach the delivery of these upgrades and set out specific clarity around these electrification projects.’

In the meantime Ms Perry said the four-track work is currently going ahead at Corby to Kettering, while work is also being done to remove bottlenecks at Derby station and improve the speed of the line south of Chesterfield.

Cross-party MPs made a passionate and generally comradely show of concerns. Chair of the CLG select committee Clive Betts highlighted the strong business case for the line, its potential to unlock development and the value for money already delivered on improvements, including 10 minutes shaved off journey times through less than £100m of investment.

The debate came after the leaders of all main political parties at Nottinghamshire County Council wrote to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, calling for a firm date for the resumption of the electrification works and assurances that no approval be given for electrification of any other routes before the Midlands Mainline.

In a statement to Transport Network, Ms Perry said in response: ‘We are committed to electrifying the Midland Mainline and it will be part of our future plans, but we want it done properly, which is why it has been paused while Network Rail reviews how its programme of rail improvements can be brought back on track.

‘I recognise that people in Nottinghamshire will be disappointed by the difficult decision we had to make about pausing this important work. However, we are working with Network Rail on improvements that can be made to the line before electrification, to allow faster services and more capacity. Our massive investment in Nottingham station underlines our commitment.’

The news comes as the Government announced the direct award of a contract extension for Stagecoach to continue to operate train services on the East Midlands franchise until 2018.

East Midlands Trains’ parent company Stagecoach Group will pay the government £150m to run the franchise from October 2015 to March 2018. Prices will be frozen on the line for the duration of the deal.

Around 26 million journeys are made on East Midlands Trains services every year.

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Project Engineer (Permanent)

Havant Borough Council
£37,100
We’re looking for an experienced and enthusiastic engineer to join our well-regarded design and implementation team. Havant, Hampshire
Recuriter: Havant Borough Council

Project Engineer (Fixed Term)

Havant Borough Council
£37,100
We’re looking for an experienced and enthusiastic engineer to join our well-regarded design and implementation team. Havant, Hampshire
Recuriter: Havant Borough Council

Contract Supervisor

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£31,013 - £36,486 depending on skills, knowledge and experience
The role of Contract Supervisor (Waste and Street Cleansing) will require you to support ambitious plans to provide services for residents Richmond upon Thames, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Flood Risk Manager

Birmingham City Council
£43,662 - £54,574
The role requires the post holder to be the lead professional for the Authority’s Flood Risk Management and drainage function Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Head of Highways & Transport

Lewisham London Borough Council
up to £72,705
As our lead expert on highways and transport, you will set the direction and lead on all transport related matters Lewisham, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Lewisham London Borough Council

Ugobus Driver (multiple positions)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938.0 per annum
Please note that we have permanent, fixed term and relief contract opportunities on a part time, job share and flexible working basis. The salary is u England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director

Hounslow London Borough Council
Up to £82k
Working across a wide range of high profile direct services, the emphasis for this role is on partnership working. Hounslow (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Hounslow London Borough Council

Head of Parks and Environmental Services

Harrogate Borough Council
£58,778 - £61,882
You will have experience at a senior level in the management and delivery of front line services relevant to the functions Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: Harrogate Borough Council

Programme Technician/Engineer

Norfolk County Council
£29,636 - £31,371 per annum
This is a challenging position which involves working across wide ranging activities. Norwich, Norfolk
Recuriter: Norfolk County Council

Principal Transport Planner – 2 posts (Warrington Waterfront Western Link)

Warrington Borough Council
£40,760 - £43,662 plus essential car user allowance
We are looking to form a new Warrington Waterfront Western Link Team and we are looking to fill a number of key posts Warrington, Cheshire
Recuriter: Warrington Borough Council

Director of Integrated Transport

Liverpool City Region
Salary up to £124,848
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is embarking on a search for an exceptional individual with the passion to deliver on our vision Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Region

Highways Manager

Oxford Direct Services
G11
Oxford Direct Services
Recuriter: Oxford Direct Services

Data Entry Administrator

Telford & Wrekin Council
£18,795 - £19,171
Telford & Wrekin’s Public Protection Service is looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated Data Entry Administrator Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Transport Planner

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 to £38,423
You’ll have previous experience of working in a transport/planning/accessible transport environment Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Parking Business Administrator Level 3 Apprenticeship

Brent Council
£15,000 p.a. inc.
This role will support the Brent Parking Team work to provide administrative support for both the Notice Processing Team Brentford (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Principal Engineer (Development)

Liverpool City Council
£37,849 - £42,683
Liverpool City Council wish to recruit a Principal Engineer (Development) to provide managerial and technical support. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Traffic Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
We are looking to recruit a Traffic Manager to join our Highways team Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Team Leader x2 - Passenger Transport

Redbridge London Borough Council
£27,228 - £28,215 per annum
You will be responsible for overseeing the duties of Passenger Transport drivers as well as providing support to the service and managers. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

UTMC Engineer

Warrington Borough Council
£31,371 - £34,788
You will support the UTMC Principal Engineer and work as part of a team responsible for all aspects of Urban Traffic Management and Control Warrington, Cheshire
Recuriter: Warrington Borough Council

Programme Assurance Manager Public Realm

Westminster City Council
£46,293 - £49,203 per annum
A graduate, or have equivalent experience, and you can show evidence of continued professional, managerial and personal development... City of Westminster, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Westminster City Council