Witham MP Priti Patel continues to make the case for rail investment for local commuters

Published: 23rd May 2018 - 10:16 am Category: General News Local News

Priti Patel, Member of Parliament for Witham and Chair of the Great Eastern Main Line Taskforce, has met with the Rail Minister, Jo Johnson MP, to press the case for continued investment in the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML).

As Chair of the Great Eastern Main Line Taskforce, Priti made clear that investment in the line must be a priority and urged the Minister to ensure that improvements in the franchise and linked rail infrastructure upgrades are delivered within the original timeframe. The Taskforce will shortly be presenting the Minister with an updated rail prospectus, outlining the case for investment in the GEML and what it will generate in terms of economic growth.

After the meeting, Priti said:

“Commuters in Witham and across the Great Eastern Main Line have endured poor and overcrowded train services for too long. Having established the Taskforce in 2012, I have long campaigned for improvements to our rail services. The Taskforce’s recommendations were accepted by the Government and we now need to see investment in critical infrastructure including upgrades to Haughley Junction, Trowse Swing Bridge and the passing loops between Witham and Colchester funded through the enhancements pipeline process.”

“The new franchise will deliver new rolling stock in 2019, however, the full potential of the new trains will only be realised if the infrastructure is upgraded too. Local commuters are paying some of the highest fares nationally and they must see this money coming back in investment into their line.”

“I was pleased to meet with the Rail Minister to put forward the case for investment in the Great Eastern Main Line. A few years ago, the Taskforce published a rail prospectus which made a strong case for investment. With increased housing growth and changes to the economy in the region, the Taskforce is currently updating this prospectus and I look forward to presenting it to the Minister in due course.”

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