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2020-07-02 DfT-001
Department for Transport


Restoring Your Railway Fund

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Restoring Your Railway Fund

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Department for Transport

Restoring Your Railway Fund

2 July 2020
source Department for Transport
type Guidance

Updated 2 July 2020

Policy overview

The Department for Transport is inviting MPs, local councils and community groups across England and Wales to propose how they could use funding to reinstate axed local services and restore closed stations.

This funding is split into 3 categories to ensure we can support different projects at different phases of development. The 3 categories are:

o the [Ideas Fund], to restore rail services (other than rail station creation or restoration)
o [accelerating existing proposals[, to increase development of a previously submitted rail proposals
o [proposals for new or restored rail stations]

[Advice on which category your proposal should target] is available on request.

Ideas Fund

Through the Ideas Fund we are seeking proposals for projects to restore lost rail connections to communities. This could include:

o upgrading a current freight line to include passenger services and restoring stations on it - such as the line to Ebbw Vale in South Wales
o restoring track and services to an old alignment - as is being done between Bicester and Bletchley
o modifying an old route due to construction or other unavailability over the original route

DfT will fund 75% of costs up to £50,000 of successful proposals to help fund transport and economic studies and create a business case. Future funding to develop projects would be subject to agreement of the business case.

Sponsorship and promotion

Any application for the Ideas Fund must be sponsored by one or more Members of Parliament whose constituencies would benefit from the scheme. The group promoting the scheme may include:

o community groups
o local government
o local enterprise partnerships

or other interested parties.

We will require a “lead promoter” with whom we can work. The lead promoter will assist in:

1. specifying the train services sought
2. identifying what benefits the scheme might bring

Your application will need to make clear what the local support is for a scheme and whether there is any opposition.

Governance of the scheme should be decided between the supporters, it is not determined by the Department for Transport.

How to apply

The steps for applying for the Ideas Fund are:

1. you contact the relevant MPs with your idea
2. an expression of interest, made by an MP, to the DfT ahead of the relevant funding round
3. a more in-depth submission making your case
4. assessment of the proposal by an [expert panel]
5. successful bidders work with DfT officials to agree the scope of the proposal to be investigated and to develop the project’s business case for receiving more substantial development funding

The Ideas Fund panel comprises:

o Chris Heaton-Harris MP – Rail Minister (Chair)
o Simon Clarke MP – Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government
o Sir Peter Hendy – Chair, Network Rail
o Jackie Sadek – CEO UK Regeneration
o Isabel Dedring – Former London Deputy Mayor for Transport

Making your case

Your bid for funding should focus on making the strategic and economic case for the scheme, as well as setting out any recognised challenges. We would expect this to include:

o [socio-economic benefits]
o [services proposed]
o [infrastructure and operating costs]

We would expect your written document to be between 15 to 20 pages making the case for the reinstatement of the railway together with maps of any routes affected. We are providing a template to those who have expressed an interest, which should be used for the full applications.

Socio-economic benefits

The most important part of the application is making it clear what the scheme aims to achieve or solve and the socio- economic benefits. Your proposal should set out the journey opportunities that will be created and the expected demand. It should also reference economic opportunities such as improved tourism or links to employment for areas with particular economic challenges of:

o new housing
o critical infrastructure such as to education or healthcare

Services proposed

Your submission should outline the services proposed to be run on the restored railway. This should include frequency and interactions with the existing railway. For example, are these extensions to existing services or new services, would they require additional train paths on an already busy line? What is the capacity of the relevant stations?

You should also set out whether there are any freight opportunities and what they might be. We would recommend engaging with the local train operator and Network Rail to understand opportunities. If available, you should also share with us any work done previously on the proposal.

Infrastructure and operating costs

At this stage we would not expect you to provide estimates of the infrastructure required and operating costs for the scheme. For this we will use a standard cost methodology to compare to the benefits proposed by the promoters. The information we will need to inform this will be a map of the route proposed with approximate locations of any:

o stations
o level or footpath crossings
o tunnels
o proposed bridges

Your submission must include any constraints, such as buildings that have now been constructed upon the route or complications anticipated beyond straight forward reinstatement of the line.

We would also expect to understand the land ownership of the route and whether landowners would expect compensation. For example, we would expect councils to provide necessary land that they owned for free if the scheme went ahead.

Seeking advice during the application process

We aim to keep this a light touch during application creation. We would ask that [all communication with the department] is via a single named individual in advance of the application submission. We will provide advice and clarification on process but will not at this stage be providing specific advice on the merits of the scheme of the case being made.

Local authorities can bring significant experience, particularly in terms of issues such as:

o land ownership
o planning consents
o local plans
o rights of way adjustment
o access to stations
o environmental management

Should you [require factual information from Network Rail we will facilitate this].

Next steps for successful Ideas Fund projects

Officials will contact the lead promoter of successful schemes to agree the definition of the concept and the train service specification, agree a work plan and discuss work towards the study and building the business case. Departmental officials will work with you as the study report develops. This study will be the first step in developing more detailed proposals and obtaining funding for a project’s delivery.

Applicants that have not been successful will be offered further support by the department, to help them develop their application for consideration in a later round or to access funding another way.

Future Ideas Fund funding rounds

There will be a third funding round in November 2020 to enable as many communities as possible to take advantage of the support provided.

Successful bids for the first round of the Ideas Fund
We are pleased to announce that ten bidders for the first round of the Ideas Fund have been successful in their application for funding to enable them to progress their proposals towards developing a business case.

The bids that have been successful in this first round of the Ideas Fund are:

o reopening Meir Railway Station between Stoke-On-Trent and North Staffordshire
o passenger services on the Barrow Hill line between Sheffield and Chesterfield
o passenger services on the Leicester to Burton (Ivanhoe) line
o reinstatement of branch lines on the Isle of Wight
o reinstatement of passing loop between St Albans Abbey and Watford Junction (Abbey Line)
o reopening of Wellington and Cullompton stations
o passengers services on the Bury-Heywood-Rochdale lines
o regular passenger services on the Clitheroe to Hellifield railway line
o reinstatement of rail access to Devizes via a new station at Lydeway
o passenger services on the Totton-Fawley (Waterside) line

Update on the second round of the Ideas Fund

The deadline for the second round of the Ideas Fund closed on 19 June 2020 and 50 bids from across England and Wales were submitted. These will be considered by an expert panel and the outcome will be announced by the end of the summer 2020. The list of bids received from:

the North West are:
o the South Fylde Line Passing Loop
o Kenyon Junction Station
o reopening Golborne Railway Station
o reinstatement of Bolton-Radcliffe / Bolton-Bury
o reinstating Beeston Castle and Tarporley railway station
o reopening of Midge Hall Station
o re-doubling of the Mid Cheshire Line between Stockport and Altrincham and associated station o reopening’s
o the Stockport to Ashton Line
o the Glazebrook Junction to Skelton Junction
o the East Didsbury to Stockport
o the North East are:
o Consett - Newcastle Connection
o Ferryhill Restoration
o the East are:
o reopening of the Wymondham-Dereham line
o King’s Lynn to Hunstanton Railway
o Yorkshire and Humberside, are:
o the reinstatement of the Beverley to York rail line
o the restoration of a daily train service on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway
o the Upper Wensleydale Railway
o restoring Passenger Rail to the Sheaf Valley
o restoring a South Humber Link
o the South Yorkshire Joint Railway
o a new station at Waverley
o the Midlands are:
o reopening the Stratford upon Avon to Honeybourne-Worcester/Oxford (SWO) Railway Line
o increasing stopping services at Radcliffe-on-Trent and Bottesford stations on the Poacher line between Grantham and Nottingham
o increasing services to Nottingham and Leicester, via Syston and Loughborough from Melton Mowbray
o reconnecting Ashfield Communities through the Maid Marian Line
o South West are:
o the Shepton Mallet (Mendip Vale)
o the Radstock railway reinstatement
o St Anne’s Park station
o Primrose Line
o transforming the Newquay Line
o Mid-Cornwall Metro
o the restoring of secondary services on the Great Western Main line
o Goodrington and Churston Stations
o a new station for Langport and Somerton area
o Charfield Station
o reinstatement of Bodmin to Wadebridge railway and associated works
o increasing service provision Bodmin General – Bodmin Parkway
o Ashburton and Buckfastleigh Junction Railway
o Bristol West Capacity Enhancement
o Light railway extension to the Barnstaple Branch (Chivenor Braunton) “TawLink”
o the Cirencester Community Rail Project
o Project Wareham - Complete the link
o improvement of railway services at Pilning station, as well as reinstating the footbridge to platform 2
o the South East are:
o The Arundel Chord
o the re-opening of Camberwell Station, London SE5
o the unlocking of capacity and services through Bramley (Hants)
o the Chinnor Railway Aston Rowant extension
o the Carshalton Beeches step-free access
o Wales are:
o the Magor and Undy Walkway Station
o restoring services on the Anglesey Central Railway between Gaerwen and Amlych

Accelerating existing proposals

We are making funding available to accelerate the development and delivery of schemes that already have existing business cases. This will use the standard government assessment framework and DfT officials will support applicants in progressing projects.

Funding may also support newer schemes that already have supporting analysis and are seeking a larger sum of support to progress to an outline business case.

If you have a scheme that you believe fits these criteria [contact us for advice on the next steps].

Note the government assessment framework does not rely only on benefit cost ratios (BCRs) and strong strategic cases (for example regeneration) with low BCRs may be considered.

Proposals for new or restored stations

A New Station Fund competition is currently receiving applications.

The competition is being run by Network Rail and closes on 5 June 2020.

[Details and application information for the 2020 New Stations Fund competition]

The core criteria will be similar to previous rounds:

o the business case should demonstrate reasonable value for money — the DfT classification of medium value for money will be used as a comparative indication, this includes the strategic case — for example, unlocking housing
o the proportion of third party match funding available (minimum 25%) and the security of match funding achieved at the time of the bid
o the expected quantity of new rail income generated from station/on-going subsidy required
o ability to timetable services effectively and likely impact on other passenger transport benefits
o minimised passenger disruption during project delivery

Contact us

We can be contacted for help and advice at [Restoringyourrailway@dft.gov.uk].

Railhub Archive ::: 2020-07-02 DfT-001


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