Transport secretary announces plans to reverse Beeching cuts

Railbus at Tetbury Station - 1960s
Rail services lost in the sixties could return as part of new proposal
Published Wed, 2017-11-29 15:00

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has announced plans to identify potential routes for reopening to passenger traffic.

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Editorial

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Railbus at Tetbury Station - 1960s © Creative Commons Licence

The rail services, which were lost under the infamous Beeching Report of the 1960s, could be restored to encourage growth and increase jobs across the UK. Restoring lost capacity of the railway network is is one of a number of reforms featured in the Government's new rail strategy.

Last month the 'Campaign for Better Transport' organisation wrote to Chris Grayling urging the DoT to set up funding for some of Britain's lost railway lines, after announcements were made to spend a record £48 billion on rail projects between 2019 and 2024.

Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: “There a huge is demand for new or reinstated rail connections out there, but very few means of making them a reality. We regularly hear from local authorities, developers and communities with very good proposals who have reached a brick wall when it comes to funding. That’s why we’re asking the Transport Secretary to create a new Network Development Fund and help reverse some of the damage done to our railways by Dr Beeching’s hatchet job more than sixty years ago.”

Grayling’s plans to reverse some of these services affected by the cuts are set out in a new rail strategy plan which has been published today. Many of his critics have however questioned his plans for expanding rail capacity when he has frequently cut back on rail electrification and staffing on the network.

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