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Government invests £401m to upgrade railways

Transpennine Express Train

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that it will invest £401 million to improve rail connectivity, journey speeds and capacity across the country.

The Transpennine route is set to receive £317 million, which intends to boost punctuality, reliability and connectivity for passengers between Leeds, Manchester and York. It will also aim to deliver electrification and upgrades between York and Church Fenton.

New stations will be created from the £15 million new stations fund at Marsh Barton in Exeter, and White Rose and Thorpe Park in Leeds. This will connect communities, support retail growth, improve access to employment and leisure, and support greener travel choices, according to the DfT.

James Lewis, councillor and leader of Leeds City Council, said: “The White Rose and Thorpe Park stations will make a big difference to the lives of people in the city by delivering enhanced links to these two areas of employment growth. They will also play a part in our efforts to tackle the climate emergency by helping take cars off the road, which will in turn improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions.

“It’s important to note, however, that this is just one piece of the jigsaw. We also urgently need clarity on plans for the eastern leg of HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail with a stop in Bradford, all of which would complement the work on the Transpennine route and help to further unlock the massive potential of communities across Leeds and beyond.”

At least £69 million of government money will be invested into increasing freight capacity, boosting economic growth, between the Port of Southampton and the Midlands. 

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “Modernising and upgrading our vital transport links is critical to levelling up every part of this country, unleashing our economy and spreading opportunity as we build back better.

“Following closely after our reforms to deliver a modern, green and innovative railway that meets the needs of the nation, this package of £401 million investment will help deliver reliable, punctual services that passengers across the UK can count on.”

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