Thousands demand rail electrification rethink in petition to Grayling

 

Senior politicians from the Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green parties joined campaigners in delivering a petition asking transport secretary Chris Grayling to rethink his decision to scrap the UK’s rail electrification programme.

The petition, signed by over 14,000 people, was organised by 10:10 Climate Action and Campaign for Better Transport (CfBT) and was handed in to the Department for Transport on the morning that Mr Grayling launched the Government’s Strategic Vision for rail.

Mr Grayling’s decision to scrap the electrification of rail lines in south Wales, the Midlands and the Lake District was announced in the summer and was widely criticised.

”Local
Andy McDonald (right) with Green Party and LibDem colleagues

Supporters of rail electrification say it is vital in tackling air pollution and climate change targets and reversing long-term underinvestment in transport infrastructure outside London and the South East.

On Wednesday Mr Grayling again defended his position on the grounds that it could mean spending £1bn to shave a minute of journey times and that bi-mode technology makes full electrification of routes unnecessary.

Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s shadow transport secretary, said: ‘The Government should stop pretending that “bi-mode” trains mean electrification is no longer necessary. Bi-mode trains either operate as underpowered diesel trains or overweight electric trains.

‘Electrified rail traction is faster, less damaging to track, doesn’t spew out fumes and noise, frees up space on trains, and is far better for the climate. Britain badly lags other European nations on rail electrification.’

CfBT chief executive Stephen Joseph said: 'It's ironic that as progress is being made on the UK's roads away from polluting diesel towards cleaner electric vehicles, the Government is turning back the clock on our rail network and condemning cities and towns along these rail lines to years more of dirty air.

‘At a time of unprecedented awareness of the health costs of air pollution, as well as pressure on local authorities to meet legal requirements on healthy air, the Government must listen to the public on this.’

 

Also see

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Definitive Map Manager

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
This role is based within the Highways Service at Cambridgeshire County Council and provides an unusual and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
A great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Strategic Transport

Cheshire East Council
£64,000 - £75,000 + benefits
We’re committed to “working for a brighter future together” – and we expect you to be too! Cheshire
Recuriter: Cheshire East Council

Regeneration Manager

Mole Valley District Council
£52,895 - £57,143 FTE
This is a great career opportunity to specialise in town centre regeneration and repositioning. Dorking, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Technical Services Officer (Mechanical)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
This is an exciting and challenging time for Kirklees and we want to expand our team to manage and deliver construction... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road and Footway Asset Engineer

Kent County Council
£28,925 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Road and Footway Asset Team as an Asset Engineer. Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Head of Waste

Lincolnshire County Council
£65,651 - £70,725
As Head of Waste, you will be commercially focussed and forward-thinking. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director

Reading Borough Council
Up to £92k
It’s the ideal time to take the lead on our modernisation agenda, and deliver growth in the trading of our front line services. Reading, Berkshire
Recuriter: Reading Borough Council

Assistant Director – Highways

Lincolnshire County Council
£82,264 - £107,878
Come and lead the future agenda for our highways services. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

County Highways Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Seeking a highly motivated leader and an excellent communicator, who has a proven ability to build relationships and trust, leading by example. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Local Highways Manager (East) - Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council
G12 £43,662 - £50,430
Seeking someone who combines excellent technical knowledge with a dedication to the customer. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council