20th July 2017
In response to the publication of the Government’s High Level Output Specification (HLOS) today, Lianna Etkind, Campaign for Better Transport’s public transport campaigner, said:
“While we welcome a commitment to renewals and resilience, this HLOS has a troubling lack of commitment to investing our country’s rail infrastructure. Despite record passenger numbers and unprecedented farebox revenue, a ‘pipeline approach’ risks becoming an excuse for the Government to step back from the ambitious infrastructure projects passengers so badly need.
“Five years ago, the Government were trumpeting the biggest investment in the railways since the Victorians. Today, passengers face spiraling fares while investment is put on the back burner. Passengers in the north will feel most cheated by today’s announcement, given that long-delayed TransPennine and Midlands electrification projects seem to have been dropped.
“Passengers cannot be expected to continue paying ever-rising fares with no guarantee of investment to tackle regional inequalities, improve accessibility, expand railfreight and support modern, sustainable cities. Less than a month ago, the Government announced more than £6 billion for expanding roads, and it’s deeply concerning that when so much money is being poured into concreting over the countryside, rail expansion is in doubt."
Notes to Editors
- Campaign for Better Transport's media briefing on HLOS can be read here.
- The Government's HLOS document can be found here.
- Regulated fares are due to rise in January and current Government policy is to raise them by RPI+0. RPI (Retail Price Index) is forecast to rise by between 3.6 and 3.9 per cent (http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/rail-commuters-face-brexit-fare-hike-of-nearly-four-times-the-one-per-cent-public-sector-pay-cap-a3580271.html)
- Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).