Tag Archives: Railways

MPs urged to back Yorkshire Post rail campaign

JC_080715_Gaza3The Yorkshire Post’s Back On Track campaign has received parliamentary backing.

Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox has tabled a motion in the Commons welcoming the campaign and echoing its call for the Government to reinstate plans to electrify the TransPennine and Midland Mainline routes.

The motion also demands ministers inform MPs precisely when they knew about Network Rail’s plans to shelve the electrification projects.

Mrs Cox is now urging Yorkshire MPs and colleagues across the north to back the motion and the YP’s campaign in order to force a debate in the Commons.

The Labour MP said: “The Yorkshire Post campaign speaks with one voice for the Yorkshire MPs, businesses, commuters and others who are outraged that after all the pre-election promises, electrification has since been shelved indefinitely.

“This decision undermines the Government’s so called northern powerhouse agenda and its commitment to helping boost the northern economy. It has an impact on many people and businesses across Yorkshire and the north and needs to be resolved urgently.

“Network Rail appears to have known in March that the plans would be shelved. It is inconceivable that ministers were not aware, even though they continued to repeat the promise during the election campaign. It is unacceptable that these questions remain unanswered.

“We want the schemes back on track, we want to know when work will start and we want to know what ministers knew, and when.”

The motion is now live for MPs to sign.

Mrs Cox, whose constituency is served by the TransPennine route, added: “In the last year India has electrified 850 miles of track, yet our Transport Secretary is quibbling about 40 miles from Leeds to Manchester. It’s simply not good enough.”

“When did ministers know TransPennine would be shelved” – Jo Cox

First TransPennine ExpressResponding to revelations in minutes from Network Rail about when plans to shelve the electrification of the TransPennine rail route were agreed, Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox said:

“I asked ministers directly in Parliament when they knew of the plans to shelve the TransPennine electrification and they refused to answer. Instead we got bluster and evasion and misdirection.

“Did they know before the election and keep the news secret until afterwards? It now looks like the smoking gun has been unearthed.

“The content of Network Rail minutes, obtained through an FoI request, shows ministers must have known that the electrification  was going to be ‘paused’.

“When the transport secretary said before the election that the Conservatives would electrify 800 miles of track he must have known about the Network Rail decision.

“He should come to the House of Commons immediately to explain this situation fully and openly.”

Statement on postponement of major rail upgrade

First TransPennine ExpressFollowing the announcement that major improvements to the Trans Pennine rail route have been suspended, with set date for completion, Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox said:

“Within a matter of weeks of their Northern Powerhouse fanfare the government has kicked one of the most important transport infrastructure projects for businesses and commuters in the north of England into the long grass, apparently indefinitely.

“Reports that this announcement was timed for after the election are very worrying. It shows a disregard for the electorate and for businesses in Yorkshire. Businesses fear the Government is at best indifferent to the north, at worst contemptuous, and is fixated only with London and the south east.

“I sincerely hope it is not the case and the Government will show some commitment to upholding its own promises and ending this north/south divide.”

Batley Station in Mrs Cox’s constituency is on the Trans Pennine route.

Mrs Cox will raise today’s news with the Transport Secretary and write to Network Rail to ask for more information about the implications of today’s announcement.