Tom Randall MP has welcomed the publication of the Conservative Government’s £96 billion Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands, which will deliver better transport links and spread prosperity and opportunity decades sooner than previously planned, all while levelling up the country.
The plan will transform high speed rail capabilities across the Midlands, delivering funding to build a high-speed line from the West Midlands to East Midlands Parkway – meaning direct high speed rail services to Nottingham, Derby, Chesterfield, and Sheffield.
This means rail journeys from London to both Nottingham and Derby will be possible in under an hour – cutting current journey times by around a third – with journeys from Birmingham to Nottingham taking just 26 minutes, two-thirds faster than current times.
Funding has also been confirmed to complete the HS2 Western Leg to Manchester, as well as building new stations at Birmingham Curzon Street and Birmingham Airport – meaning journeys from Birmingham to Manchester will be possible in just 51 minutes, 35 minutes faster than today.
The Midlands will also benefit from commitments to fully electrify the Midland Main Line – with work beginning by the end of this year to electrify a new section of the line between Kettering and Market Harborough – as well as rapid upgrades for the East Coast Main Line, benefiting the East Midlands, and bringing benefits to communities far sooner than originally planned.
The IRP also confirms we will progress work on options to complete the Midlands Rail Hub, focused on improved services to Hereford, Worcester, Coventry and allowing more services to access Birmingham Moor Street station. This could give passengers from Bristol, Cardiff and beyond easy interchange to HS2 at the adjacent Curzon Street station.
Commenting, Tom Randall MP said:
“I was elected on a pledge to level up and create better transport connections for communities across Gedling now – we cannot afford to stick to outdated plans and wait decades to deliver the change needed.
“This plan delivers the single biggest investment in the history of our rail network – £96 billion for the North and Midlands – which will improve everyday journeys for rail passengers across Gedling, bring communities across the Midlands closer together, and create jobs – all ten to fifteen years sooner than previously planned.
“For example, Gedling residents from Netherfield station will be able to be in Nottingham in five minutes by train from where they can be in Birmingham in 26 minutes. With Midland Mainline electrification, direct services from Nottingham to London will be under an hour – opening up job opportunities and a massive improvement on current journey times.
“Levelling up cannot wait – this plan delivers on the promise I made to people in Gedling now; with more punctual, frequent, and reliable journeys for people wherever they live.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“My mission is to level up opportunity across our country, which is why we’re making train journeys faster and more reliable through the biggest ever public investment in our rail network.
“This is because better rail connections are essential for growing local economies and businesses, and our Integrated Rail Plan will deliver better services to more people, more quickly.
“Levelling up has to be for everyone, not just the biggest cities. That’s why we will transform transport links between our biggest cities and smaller towns, ensuring we improve both long-distance and vital local services and enabling people to move more freely across the country wherever they are.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“Our plan is ambitious, deliverable and backed by the largest single government investment ever made in our rail network. It will deliver punctual, frequent and reliable journeys for everyone, wherever they live.
“Just as the Victorians gave this country our railways nearly 200 years ago, this Integrated Rail Plan will create a modern, expanded railway fit for today and future generations. Significant improvements will be delivered rapidly, bringing communities closer together, creating jobs and making places more attractive to business, and in doing so, rebalancing opportunity across the country.
“Our plans go above and beyond the initial ambitions of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail by delivering benefits for communities no matter their size, right across the North and Midlands, up to 10 to 15 years earlier.”