Comments : Unused railway lines to be reopened thanks to The Reshaping of British Railways
Over 50 years ago, Dr Beeching suggested the closing railway branch lines across the country which isolated many towns, subsequently making the car the only convenient way to travel between them. The roads are now struggling to cope with the increased amount of traffic causing congestion which is why ‘The Reshaping of British Railways’ project are planning to reopen 3,000 stations and over 4,000 miles of tracks which were closed by the Beeching Axe.
There have been 1.35 billion train journeys made a year by the current population which mean more commuters are using trains since the 1920s. This is why it’s so crucial to expand the current amount of train tracks open across Britain and the change shows both the economic growth and an increase in the amount of people who prefer to catch the train over driving.
Norman Baker, a rail minister spoke to the Daily Telegraph about the proposed plans; ‘Re-opening lines helps local communities and gets people back onto trains which has economic and social benefits. Work is already under way on reopening a rail line between Bicester in Oxfordshire and Bletchley in Buckinghamshire.’
There are many proposed sites to be restored which include;
~ The line between Stansted and Brainree in Essex.
~ The East Sussex line Lewes-Uckfield which will provide a second option to get to the Brighton mainline.
~ The line that runs between Bourne End and High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire will be opened to link the Great Western and Chiltern lines.
~ The Okehampton-Bere Alstom link which would offer another line to get to Exeter and Plymoth.
The proposals would require the local councils to fund the reopening of the rail lines in their areas for a minimum of thirty six months to establish if the plans are viable and if proved so, the Department for Transport would be responsible for them. The problem with this proposal is the councils funding may not be available to start these much needed plans.
Campaign for Better Transports Stephen Joseph, spoke to the Daily Telegraph welcoming the Governments plans; ‘There are a number of sizable places that aren’t on the rail network where reopening lines and stations would make good economic sense. Many of these places suffer from traffic congestion and people really want a choice in how they get around.’
Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd
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