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Even a Manchester passenger is making the case for an upgrade to our rail link

18:42 10 November 2014

MPs and enterprise boss meet transport secretary Patrick McLouglin.
Left to right: Mark Pendlington, Patrick McLoughlin, Chloe Smith, Ben Gummer and Simon Burns

MPs and enterprise boss meet transport secretary Patrick McLouglin. Left to right: Mark Pendlington, Patrick McLoughlin, Chloe Smith, Ben Gummer and Simon Burns

Archant

Even a Manchester passenger has been making the case for a Norwich to London rail upgrade, transport secretary Patrick McLouglin has revealed.

At a meeting in Westminster this evening, the cabinet minister told MPs and an enterprise boss that the case for an improved line had gone beyond the borders of East Anglia, after he had been stopped in the northern station and told the line needed investment.

But he stopped short of committing to the half a billion pound wishlist put forward by the rail taskforce in its business case for an upgrade the line.

New Anglia local enterprise partnership chairman Mark Pendlington and Norwich and Ipswich MPs Chloe Smith and Ben Gummer met the Department for Transport head to push the case, ahead of a meeting with Treasury officials tomorrow.

It comes after they published their dossier last week, which claims that a £476m investment would reap economic rewards of £4.5bn.

Mr Pendlington said Mr McLoughlin had not committed to the investment in the line, and he had not expected him to, but added: “Clearly he has read the report and gets what we are saying. What we have to do is keep up the pressure with the evidence right up to the Autumn Statement.”

He added that they had to make the Government see it was a “compelling case”.

Ms Smith, who is co-chairman of the Great Eastern Rail Campaign taskforce, said: “Patrick McLouglin is one of the most straightforward people in politics and I know he will take this report seriously. He has committed Department for Transport resources to this already.”

She said the group had made sure he knew how important the report was to thousands of passengers in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

In a statement Mr McLoughlin said: “The Great Eastern Main Line Taskforce and the Norwich in 90 campaign are helping to shape the future of the railways. I know that Network Rail will be looking closely at these proposals for the next round of rail investment funding and we will be looking at how these could be included in the next East Anglia franchise which is due to start in 2016.

“I want to see every town and city served by a world class railway systems. That’s why as part of our long term economic plan more than £38 billion will be spent over the next five years to introduce more trains and better services.”

16 comments

  • Chloe Smith & chums only seem to be interested in the Norwich to London line and not the disgraceful rails links to and from the Midlands and the north.

    Report this comment

    I LoveNorfolk

    Tuesday, November 11, 2014

  • Do you think he is lost?

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Tuesday, November 11, 2014

  • The old Liverpool Lime Street service ,which once came down with great train loads direct to Yarmouth and which we knew as the boat train, is a brilliant service and should have been protected as a long distance route no matter who operates it. I have used it at different times over the last 45 years to get to Manchester ( for a few years on a regular basis ) and throughout that period to get to Peterborough to connect to the East Coast line. More recently a family member discovered long haul flight bargains are to be had from Manchester Airport which make the journey worth while in comparison with some services out of Schiphol via Norwich or out of the London area airports. The service has deteriorated- short stop commuter style carriages are inappropriate and then there is the mess of the train chopping up at Nottingham made worse by the farce of seats being reserved in the Norwich section of the train for passengers travelling a couple of stops in the Midlands.Now we have the last straw of having to change trains at Nottingham. The quality of this service does not so much depend upon huge sums of government funding but on the will to make operating companies look at the broader picture of a transport network rather than bums on seats between Nottingham and Sheffield.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, November 11, 2014

  • I say, which is better: more cash down the rail bottomless pit, or a properly funded National Crime Agency so the 50,000 billy bonces who have already been identified (for instance the uncle fester practising at Adenbrokes who was convicted today but carried on abusing for years through lack of resources, in spite of a foreign crime agency passing damning evidence to the UK) are brought to trial and receive the punishment they deserve ? Or are there some embarrassing names in the 50,000 ? nuff said

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Spork-Pies

    Monday, November 10, 2014

  • Why do Simon Wright and Adrian Ramsey never get a mention? They're deplorable slippery schmucks too just like Chloe.

    Report this comment

    Mooseyt4

    Monday, November 10, 2014

  • Good to see Chloe's on the job. Who would believe an election is in the offing" She probably qualifies for a child fare anyhow.

    Report this comment

    beverley

    Monday, November 10, 2014

  • Agree with Blackeye, the Norwich - Liverpool Lime St service is in terrible state and they're even talking about splitting it at Nottingham. Expect Chloe 'PR' Smith to be all over that one too, and many other campaigns in Archant's Chloe Smith Love in.

    Report this comment

    Mooseyt4

    Monday, November 10, 2014

  • I say, another carefully-staged photo opportunity. Look at Chloe everyone, see how important she is. As for vested interests, a shorter rail journey for herself is the tip of the iceberg I should say ... tiny u r l dot com forward slash nyfwht5. Probably one of her financial backers has got an interest in rail via a tax-free offshore trust. Do you think I'm joking? LOL

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Spork-Pies

    Monday, November 10, 2014

  • Unless the railways are returned to common ownership and the current fragmentation is ended.I fear all of Chloe Smith and her Tory pals' pious indignation-they caused the problem in the first place-will achieve is a greater understanding of the use of PR spin in the Norwich in 90 campaign.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Monday, November 10, 2014

  • Problem is it's all about Norfolk, just like the roads. Having spent a lot of money on the A11 they are now talking about lots more on the A47 to nowhere. If they were talking about the A14 Ipswich northern bypass it would be clearer that it isn't all about next years election.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Monday, November 10, 2014

  • Surely they could have got a babysitter

    Report this comment

    trevorwoolnough

    Monday, November 10, 2014

  • Greater numbers of people would use the railway if it were cheaper and better. I lived in Surrey and Sussex for 10 years before moving to Suffolk, and it was only in moving here that I needed a car at all. If the felixtowe line were upgraded, with a stop added in the Ravenswood area, many hundreds of people would be able to stop using the car and bus and start using the train. With the right investment that 4% could easily be made 24%

    Report this comment

    Sentinel Red

    Monday, November 10, 2014

  • Spot on PC, only 4% use the railway regularly, while 15% regularly use the roads, why worry about the 4% whilst the roads are in a despicable state ?

    Report this comment

    Unemployed and Luvin it.

    Monday, November 10, 2014

  • It's a tiny miniscule proportion of the population that regularly uses rail, but the rest of us are meant to cough up for their convenience. No thanks. Chloe Smith claimed in the paper that each £ 1 'invested' brings £9.50 in benefits, but as a regular user of Norwich to London she has a vested interest.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Monday, November 10, 2014

  • And I wonder what these losers can do about it, the trains in India work and are on time, need I say more.

    Report this comment

    mr mayhem

    Monday, November 10, 2014

  • I wonder if the Manchester passenger was actually talking about the direct Liverpool to Norwich line which runs via Manchester and lots of other useful places? If not, he should have been as it's a lot more neglected than the LondonNorwich line.

    Report this comment

    Blackeye

    Monday, November 10, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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