East Coast rail investment announcement doesn’t go far enough

The government have today announced funding for some improvement to the existing main line rail services in the region. The government claims that the work will see improvements to platforms, tracks, signals and junctions across the East Coast route. New Intercity Express trains will be provided and  the Government claims northern commuters will benefit from “more seats and faster, more frequent journeys between Doncaster, Leeds and Newcastle”.

Local Councillor Andrew Waller said, “A reliable and properly funded East Coast Main Line is pivotal to our region’s growth and any investment to the line is welcome.  However, the Government’s approach to tackle these problems in a piecemeal way is not a strategic approach to solving the current capacity problem.  This is only a small step in addressing the imbalance of investment, which is currently focussed on London and the South East of England.  (more…)

Behind closed doors decision confirms York role in “Rail North Ltd”

Devolution of rail franchising on agenda

Papers published today reveal that York decided to join Rail North Ltd (RNL) and the Association of Rail North Partner Authorities on 30th November.

Rail North is the name of an interim organisation that was established with the aim of promoting the devolution of rail franchising from Whitehall to the North of England. It is grouping of all 30 local transport authorities in the North of England.

Details of the terms that would apply to York’s continuing participation in the project have been revealed in a comprehensive report.

The decision was made by the Councils Chief Executive.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

The voting power that the City would have in the conglomerate (54 votes out of 1003) are revealed (see left).

The City would pick up the same proportion of the costs. No indications are given in the papers of the scale of any such liability.

In the short term they are described as “nominal”.

The new franchises for the Northern and TransPennine services were announced a couple of weeks ago.

The new Council seems to be doing little better than its predecessor on transparency issues.

There is really no reason why the relevant reports like these could not be published before meetings actually took place.

Other recent behind closed doors decisions include:

A full list of York Council decisions can be found by clicking here


York welcomes Electrification Task Force report

York welcomes  Final Electrification Task Force report, which places the York – Harrogate and Leeds railway line in the top tier of recommended electrification schemes.

The Final report of the Electrification Task Force, created in December 2013, will determine how electrification could deliver greater economic growth in the north of England – as part of the emerging ‘Northern Powerhouse’ concept.

Thirty two routes were examined, and grouped into three distinct prioritisation tiers based on their ability to contribute to local economic plans, how they fit with other schemes, and the number of diesel kilometres of running they would replace.

The Final report is available to download at www.railnorth.org/electrification

The 12 Tier One routes are: