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2007-07-24 DfT-001
Department for Transport

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Resurgent railway gets strategy for 30 years of growth


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Department for Transport

Resurgent railway gets strategy for 30 years of growth
_______________________________________________________________


date
24 Jul 2007 15:53
source Department for Transport
type Press release



A railway that will expand to carry at least 180 million more passengers is at the heart of the Department for Transport's rail White Paper, published today.

Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly announced that capacity will increase to cope with more than 20 per cent growth in the next seven years, on a network which will be even safer and more reliable.

The strategy, Delivering a Sustainable Railway, also allows for potential doubling in capacity over 30 years through continual and rational growth of a rail network which is flexible enough to respond to changing passenger demand.

It must also be a railway which sharpens its environmental performance and thrives on new technology, the strategy makes clear.

Precise, costed plans for the near future include approval for the £5.5 billion Thameslink project, major redevelopments at Birmingham New Street and Reading stations to eliminate the system's biggest bottlenecks, and £200 million to start work on a strategic freight network.

Major cities around the country will benefit from extra capacity - with the Government delivering 1,300 extra carriages in the years to 2014. More than £10 billion will be invested in growing capacity in this period.

Ms Kelly said:

"Our railway is flourishing and in this White Paper we show how we will grow and develop the network for decades to come.

"Passengers want not only more capacity and reliability on their trains but also more modern stations, simple and efficient ticketing, better quality of service and value for money. They're right to be so demanding and this strategy can deliver what they want.

"Steady investment has given us a rail network which is in good shape for the first time in a generation and this means we can be ambitious for its future. It should be a railway which helps power economic growth and enhances the quality of our lives. We can't know precisely what our railway will look like in 30 years time but now we can be confident of making it bigger, stronger and more flexible."

Ms Kelly also announced that the Government will continue to limit fare increases under its control (including standard season tickets and savers) to no more than one per cent above inflation. A new simplified fares structure will introduce just four basic ticket types across the country.

More than 150 stations will be refurbished and upgraded at a cost of £150 million.

The Government formally submitted its spending plans (including the High Level Output Specification) today for approval by the Office of Rail Regulation.

Notes to Editors

1. The White Paper, Delivering a Sustainable Railway, is published by the Department for Transport and available from its website at http://www.dft.gov.uk

2. It includes the High Level Output Specification (HLOS), the Government's proposed spending plans for rail in England and Wales from 2009-2014, and the Statement of Funds Available (SoFA).

3. The Department also published today its Rail Technical Strategy which has been developed in co-operation with the rail industry and which seeks to optimise the use of technology across the network and predict the impact of new technology.

4. HLOS details the improvements in safety, reliability and capacity the Government wishes to buy to 2014. The Department is specifying;

* an increase in capacity to cope with growth of 22.5 per cent

* a three per cent reduction in the risk of death or injury to passengers or employees

* an increase in reliability from 88% to 92.6% and a 25% reduction in delays of more than 30 minutes.

5. The £120 million grant for Birmingham New Street will be given to Network Rail to redevelop the station with work expected to begin in 2009.

6. Network Rail will also be given £425 Million for track and station works at Reading to ease a bottleneck that restricts capacity on several routes, including the Great Western Main Line.

7. The Thameslink Programme will be delivered in two phases, with significant extra capacity by 2011 and the full scheme complete by 2015. It will mean 12-carriage trains running 24 times an hour through central London and will expand its route to new stations outside the capital.

8. 1,300 extra carriages will be provided across the country on routes where the need is greatest. Full details of their placement will be given later. This commitment extends the original pledge of 1,000 carriages made in March 2007.

9. The Government is working with the rail industry to introduce a new simplified fares structure. In future there will be just four types of ticket - Anytime, Off-Peak, Super Off-Peak and Advance - to bring greater clarity for passengers.

10. A sum of £150million is being set aside to improve and upgrade 150 stations across the country which will be identified by Network Rail (subject to agreement by the rail regulator). These will tend to be medium-sized interchange stations.

11. The Department also published today its Rail Technical Strategy which has been developed in co-operation with the rail industry and which seeks to optimise the use of technology across the network and predict the impact of new technology.

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk


Railhub Archive ::: 2007-07-24 DfT-001





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