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2009-04-03 DfT-001
Department for Transport

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Government backs improved Swindon-Gloucester rail line with 2.5m funding


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Department for Transport



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Department for Transport

Government backs improved Swindon-Gloucester rail line with 2.5m funding
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date
3 Apr 2009 10:57
source Department for Transport
type Press release

note DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT News Release (045) issued by COI News Distribution Service on 3 April 2009


Much needed improvements to the Swindon to Gloucester railway line moved a step closer today after Transport Minister Andrew Adonis announced 2.5m of Government funding for preparatory research into double-tracking 12 miles of the route.

The stretch of line between Swindon and Kemble was singled-tracked in 1968 and the study is needed before detailed plans for improvements can be drawn up.

Transport Minister Andrew Adonis said:

"Doubling 12 miles of the single track between Swindon and Gloucester is an excellent project which has the potential to make a real difference to people travelling through the South Cotswolds on this line. It is also an important diversionary route between South Wales and London when the Severn Tunnel is closed.

"My Department will now work with the South West Regional Assembly and Welsh Assembly Government to explore other funding opportunities for the full scheme. The co-ordination between three organisations is a demonstration of the importance of this project.

"In total the Government has committed to investing 15bn of public money in the railways in the next five years."

The funding will allow engineers to carry out a full evaluation of the existing route and produce detailed plans for work to be done.

Depending on the outcome of the report and funding for the project being secured, work on doubling 12-miles of single track into two lines on this busy Swindon to Gloucester route could start as early as next year.

Notes to editors

1. The Swindon to Gloucester rail line has a 12 mile stretch of single track between Swindon and Kemble. Although the line is adequate for current timetabled services, it restricts the number of trains that can operate, exacerbating the effect of late trains and restricting opportunities to operate more trains.

2. There has been a long standing campaign within the region to re-double the route, both to improve reliability during disruption and to offer the opportunity for train companies to operate more through trains between Gloucester and London

3. The route re-doubling scheme was put forward by Network Rail for Government enhancement funding over the 2009-14 period but the independent Office of Rail Regulation determined in October 2008 that the scheme did not contribute sufficiently to the national rail enhancements set out in the July 2007 Rail White paper to justify funding.

4. Transport Minister Andrew Adonis met a cross-party group of MPs on 22 January 2009 to discuss possible ways of funding the Swindon-Kemble re-doubling project. The national rail funding for 2009-14 is now committed but Andrew Adonis has expressed his personal support for the project and has asked DfT officials to work with the SW Region and the Welsh Assembly Government to explore other funding opportunities.

5. The DfT funding of 2.5m consists and of 1.6m from the latest round of Regional Funding Allocations (RFA) process which has been fast-tracked for this project and 0.9m from DfT National Networks division. In addition 100, 000 of funding is being provided by the Welsh Assembly Government.

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



Railhub Archive ::: 2009-04-03 DfT-001





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