Political

Lib Dems plan rail expansion by cutting road projects

So reports the BBC:

The Liberal Democrats have set out plans to reopen thousands of miles of railway tracks and stations.

The scheme would be funded by cutting capital spending on roads by £3bn.

Its new Rail Expansion Fund would lead to the biggest expansion of the rail network since the Victorian era, the party claims.

Motorists’ group the RAC Foundation said it would be a waste of taxpayers’ money when only 7% of UK journeys were made by train, compared to 90% by car.

However, Lib Dem transport spokesman Norman Baker said the plan would “make our railway great again”…

Although exact decisions on which services could be expanded would not be made until bids were received, the Lib Dems have drawn up a list of schemes which could be suitable for early delivery.

These include the electrification of lines from Manchester to Liverpool, Leeds and Preston; from Birmingham to Bristol and Basingstoke; and between Leeds and York.

New or reopened stations could be funded in Ilkeston, Kidlington, Wantage, Corsham, Tavistock, Middlewich, Ashington, Blyth, Washington and Skelmersdale.

New lines could link Southport with Preston, Bournemouth with Ringwood and the Midlands main line with the Birmingham-Derby route.

And track could be reopened between Exeter and Okehampton; Tavistock and Plymouth; Penrith and Keswick; and Galashiels and Carlisle.

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