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US News Government's £500m To Reverse Beeching Rail Cuts 'Only Enough For 25 Miles Of Track'

10:40  28 january  2020
10:40  28 january  2020 Source:   huffingtonpost.co.uk

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The Beeching cuts (also Beeching Axe) were a reduction of route network and restructuring of the railways in Great Britain, according to a plan outlined in two reports

Ministers have pledged £ 500 million to reopen closed railway lines in the North of England. Lines earmarked for restoration include many which were 'The funding pledged by the government would reopen just 25 miles of railway . 'The Conservatives claim to have been reversing Beeching cuts

a man standing on a train track near a fence: Boris Johnson last year during a visit to Thornton-Cleveleys Railway Station, on the disused Fleetwood and Poulton-le-Fylde line while General Election campaigning. © PA Wire/PA Images Boris Johnson last year during a visit to Thornton-Cleveleys Railway Station, on the disused Fleetwood and Poulton-le-Fylde line while General Election campaigning.

The government is going ahead with plans to reverse historical rail cuts, despite critics warning its £500m budget is only enough to restore a small section of track.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps is due to visit Fleetwood on Tuesday with a pledge to give £100,000 towards a feasibility study into reopening the train line linking the Lancashire town to Poulton-le-Fylde.

The Fleetwood line was shut in 1970 as part of a ripping-up of Britain’s tracks, as recommended by the Beeching Report. 

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Beeching cuts : £ 500 m fund to restore lost railways . Following the Beeching report in the 1960 s , more than 5 The government is also giving £ 1.5 m to develop proposals for the Ashington-Blyth-Tyne line in Labour says the £ 500 m is far from enough , and that it would only restore 25 miles of railways .

He said there was £ 500 m set aside for reopening lines. It could be the second time in a little over two years that the government has talked of reversing Beeching cuts to mask the collapse of a rail More than 4,000 miles of track were removed from the British railway – around a third of the entire

More than 5,000 miles of track and nearly 1,500 stations were closed between 1964 and 1970, following a report by British Railways chairman Dr Richard Beeching.

Another area that could benefit from the £500m fund designed to restore passenger services is Blyth, with Shapps granting £1.5m towards generating ideas for re-establishing the Ashington-Blyth-Tyne line in Northumberland, PA Media reports.

The announcement comes after Blyth Valley elected a Conservative MP for the first time in its history at the December election.

Shapps said: “Many communities still live with the scars that came from the closure of their local railway more than five decades ago.

“Today sees work begin to undo the damage of the Beeching cuts by restoring local railways and stations to their former glory.”

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New investment to drive forward reversal of the Beeching era cuts . The cuts , which were initially proposed by British Rail chief Dr Richard Beeching in 1963, ended passenger services on around a third of the rail network, closing more than 2,300 stations and up to 5,000 miles of track across the UK.

The Beeching cuts , prompted by two reports by the then British Rail chairman, led to more than 4,000 miles of track being taken out of the network. Grayling’ s offer to reverse some of those cuts will be set out in a rail strategy plan published on Wednesday, which will also detail changes to some current

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Critics have previously warned that the £500m allocated by the government, a manifesto promise being acted on by Shapps, was well short of the mark if all of Beeching’s cuts were to be reversed.

Labour has said the funding pledged by the government would reopen just 25 miles of railway, while the director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, Henri Murison, said the investment was “relatively small”.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, Murison said the proposed plan was “part of the answer but it’s in no way a full solution”.

He said: “All of these projects have their merits but, take the line between Colne and Skipton –  that’s a 12 mile section, that would use up about two-thirds of this entire budget.

“So the government has some challenges and if it’s serious about this it needs to put the right level of money in.

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The 12 Beeching rail lines that campaigners say should be re-opened: Group demands 1960 s cuts They say that better rail connections would reduce pressure on local roads Beeching report led to third of Britain’ s 18,000 miles of railway being closed Transport secretary Chris Grayling is facing fresh calls to reverse some of the infamous

The Beeching report in the 1960 s saw the railway network cut by a third, closing 2,000 stations and 5,000 miles of track . But the ATOC report states 40 The plans would have to be agreed by local and regional government , Network Rail and the Department for Transport. If all the plans were authorised

“It’s a relatively small investment in comparative terms to what’s needed in the wider network.”

Sim Harris, managing editor of industry newspaper Railnews, told PA news agency that reopening many of the lines which fell victim to the Beeching cuts would cost “billions”.

One of the last major re-openings of a line in Britain was the Borders Railway in September 2015.

The £294m link between Edinburgh and Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders re-established part of the former Waverley line, which fell victim to the Beeching cuts.

The government also plans to open another round of bidding for setting up new stations, allocating £20m to the initiative.

Two previous rounds of the scheme helped lead to the development of 10 new stations across England and Wales, said the Department for Transport (DfT).

It comes as reports surfaced this week that Shapps is considering taking the Northern franchise back into public control.

The Arriva-owned franchise has been dogged by a series of cancellations and late-running services after it introduced a new timetable in May 2018.

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A DfT spokeswoman told PA news agency an announcement would be made this week.

a man standing on a train track: Boris Johnson last year during a visit to Thornton-Cleveleys Railway Station, on the disused Fleetwood and Poulton-le-Fylde line while General Election campaigning.  © PA Wire/PA Images Boris Johnson last year during a visit to Thornton-Cleveleys Railway Station, on the disused Fleetwood and Poulton-le-Fylde line while General Election campaigning. “We continue to develop contingency plans for the replacement of the current franchise, and will set out next steps by the end of the month,” said the spokeswoman.

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