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Delight at news of rail upgrade
MILLIONS of commuters will benefit from the new investment in railways in York, Selby and North Yorkshire, it has been claimed.
Transport Secretary Justine Greening yesterday announced the £9 billion upgrade, which she said would deliver “an affordable, reliable and fast-moving railway network”, which would help secure prosperity in the North East for decades.
The plan, set to run between 2014 and 2019, could see upgrades to the East Coast line from London to Leeds and Newcastle through York, and the electrification of the Micklefield to Selby line.
York council leader James Alexander, said: “The £9 billion railway announcement is a huge boost for York. As the rail gateway to the North of England and the third fastest growing city in the north, an investment of this scale will provide millions of commuters with better links, faster journeys and more train capacity on the East Coast Main line between London, York and Newcastle.”
Coun Alexander also said the electrification across the TransPennine line would mean significant improvements on the route between York and Manchester once completed in 2018.
Former council leader Andrew Waller , who lobbied for the investment on behalf of the city in his time at City of York Council , said: “The announcement on investment in rail infrastructure is welcome, especially for the classic East Coast mainline and, by the sounds of it, the electrification of the spur.
“I would point out that this has taken some years of lobbying with Ministers to make the point, and ensuring that when I was leader that there was always reference to the electrification of the Leeds York route with Network Rail managers.”
Nigel Adams , MP for Selby and Ainsty, yesterday spoke to the House of Commons on the subject, and welcomed the announcement that the line between Micklefield and Selby would be electrified, with improvements and investments due within the next seven years.
He said: “It has huge knock-on benefits for commuters and traders in the district. The announcement is a great signal for Selby.
“It’s a huge boost for the district. Getting electrification all the way to Selby is something I have been calling for ever since I was elected, and it seems our meeting with rail minister Theresa Villiers paid off. I’m delighted with the announcement.”
Some of the funding for the upgrades comes from fare increases in 2010.