Fears Hull to Selby rail line electrification may never happen

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Fears Hull to Selby rail line electrification may never happen

Fears Hull to Selby rail line electrification may never happen
2021-09-13 21:00:00
Hull North MP Diana Johnson says ministers need to speed up decision-making over plans to electrify the rail line between Hull and Selby. Her comments come after government funding was confirmed for similar proposals to electrify the rail route between Wigan and Bolton in Lancashire. For the latest East Yorkshire news click here. Attempts through a £94m privately-funded investment to upgrade the line from Hull to the East Coast mainline were blocked by ministers five years ago. Renewed hopes of it happening hinge on the project being included in the government's delayed long-term spending plans for the railways which was meant to be published earlier this year. The government says a date for electrification would be published soon (Image: Simon Renillson) Ms Johnson spoke out after an exchange in the Commons between her and transport minister Andrew Stephenson who said options for the route into Hull “would be published soon”. She said: “Hull is still being given no date for rail electrification. Indeed, there is no guarantee that Hull will get it at all for the foreseeable future under the current government. To keep up to date with the latest traffic and travel news, sign up for the Hull Live newsletter here. “All the arguments about rail electrification creating more passenger and freight capacity on faster, greener and more efficient trains that are being used to promote the scheme between Wigan and Bolton also apply to the rail lines into Hull and across the whole North. “The difference is that the combined population of Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire totals around 861,000 – almost double the combined population of Wigan and Bolton. “It would have cost £94m in private investment to upgrade the 70 miles between Selby and Hull. Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to play Tap to play The video will auto-play soon8Cancel Play now “Now the minister has announced £78m to electrify 13 miles between Bolton and Wigan. The business case for investing in Hull and the Humber is stronger with our energy estuary and freeport status. “Instead, we see a wider picture of continuing decline in rail services for Hull and the denial of investment in our rail infrastructure – including at Hull station – in return for paying even higher fares.” Ms Johnson said she was also concerned about reports suggesting a section of the proposed high-speed HS2 route that would most directly benefit Hull could either be drastically scaled back or even shelved. Diana Johnson says rail services in Hull are declining (Image: Colin Edwards) Over 60 rail industry leaders have since called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to deliver his levelling-up promise by committing to HS2's eastern leg running from the West Midland to Leeds. Among the signatories of a joint letter are William Wilson, chief executive of Siemens Mobility which is currently developing a new £200m train-building plant at Goole. The letter says: “The Eastern Leg, we shouldn’t forget, is the part that turns HS2 from a project which simply alleviates congestion on the West Coast mainline into one that transforms the connectivity of much of Britain. “It is the Eastern Leg which connects Yorkshire, the North East and the East Midlands into HS2. It is not an add-on to the project – in fact you might argue it is the most important part of it.” Meanwhile, a new interim report reviewing issues around corrosion and fatigue cracks which affected Hitachi's Class 800 trains used by Hull Trains earlier this y

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