Priti Patel calls for more investment in rail infrastructure to help local commuters

Posted on: February 27, 2018

Priti Patel backs the case of the great eastern main line taskforce and calls for more of the income raised from local commuters to be reinvested in local rail infrastructure.

7. What plans the Government have to invest in major infrastructure during the 2017 Parliament. [904034]

As my hon. Friend the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury has just told the House, there has been more than £0.25 trillion of public and private investment in infrastructure since 2010. We continued to invest in infrastructure in the autumn Budget 2017 by expanding the national productivity investment fund, so that it will now provide £31 billion of additional investment, including more than doubling the housing infrastructure fund to £5 billion. The Institute for Fiscal Studies said after the Budget that our plans will see public investment increase to levels not sustained in 40 years.

The Chancellor will know of the great eastern main line taskforce, which has made the economic and business case for rail infrastructure directly to the Treasury. He will also know that Greater Anglia commuters are forking out £3.7 billion to the Treasury under the current rail franchise. Will he ensure that we can get some of that money back out to invest in the much-needed infrastructure improvements for which our commuters are campaigning?

My right hon. Friend is a great champion of infrastructure in Essex, and I share her wish to create a more dependable railway with an increased focus on punctuality and reliability, which is why the Government are pursuing the biggest rail investment programme since Victorian times. Under the Greater Anglia franchise, there is a commitment to deliver more services and faster journey times, including two “Norwich in 90” trains each way a day from May 2019. The great eastern main line proposals are currently at an early stage of development, but we will carefully consider the case she has made for the passing loop.


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