HomeBussinessUK railway news round-up

UK railway news round-up

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New Prime Minister Keir Starmer has named Louise Haigh as Secretary of State for Transport; she previously held the shadow role. Lilian Greenwood, Simon Lightwood and Mike Kane have been appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State at the Department for Transport, and Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill has been appointed Minister of State.

Helen Whately, MP for Faversham & Mid Kent, has been named as the Conservative’s Shadow Transport Secretary.

hs2_line_image_153781

Commenting on the general election result, the High Speed Rail Group said ‘we urge the government to view creating extra rail capacity, both north-south and east-west, as a national priority. This Labour government is in the unenviable position of inheriting a truncated HS2 line, plus an already-at-capacity West Coast Main Line. This situation is clearly not tenable. It would choke off economic growth and make Labour’s aspirations to grow regional economies in the Midlands and north impossible. HSRG stands ready to support the government in seizing the opportunity that rail offers to the economic prospects of the whole country.’

The Urban Transport Group of transport authorities has written to Prime Minister Keir Starmer setting out its transport priorities. For the rail sector, these include ‘urgently’ creating Great British Railways, devolving powers to give Mayors and Combined Authorities a statutory role in the new railway framework, with decision-making ‘as close as possible to the local communities it sets out to serve’, powers for Mayors and Combined Authorities to take over ownership and operation of stations, and resuming the legislative process for the High Speed Rail (Crewe-Manchester) Bill as part of work to establish new lines between Liverpool, Manchester Airport, Manchester and Leeds.

East West Rail jacket

After being obliged to put its statutory consultations on hold during the pre-election ‘purdah’ period, following the general election East West Railway Co said on July 5 ‘we are now working closely with new ministers to agree the next steps for the project. We’re committed to keeping communities and landowners informed every step of the way and will provide an update as soon as we have more information.’

Tweedbank

Scottish Borders Council Leader Euan Jardine has written to new Secretary of State for Transport Louise Haigh asking her to visit the Borders Railway to discuss the ‘critical issue’ of extending it from Tweedbank through Hawick and on to Carlisle. Transport Scotland, the Department for Transport and Scottish Borders Council have a cross-party working group dedicated to supporting the proposal.

Zonegreen derailer

Zonegreen has won its 3 000th order, covering the servicing of its Depot Personnel Protection System installed at Northern’s Newton Heath depot in Manchester.

c2c train (Photo c2c)

c2c has revised its net zero targets in line with its owning group Trenitalia’s wider plans, and is now aiming for 2040 rather than 2050.

GTR release image

Govia Thameslink Railway is spending £2·5m to tackle abuse and disorder through a new Antisocial Behaviour Improvement Plan, which has been developed following a 23% increase in verbal and almost a 10% increase in physical assaults on staff over the past year. Commitments include 1 500 more body-worn video cameras, doubling the number of Travel Safe Officers, developing an education programme for schools, improving training and aftercare so staff feel supported, hiring more safety division staff and working closer with policing and prosecutions teams to remove offenders from the railway.

EMR Recite Me

Users of the East Midlands Railway website can now access a range of accessibility and language support tools through the Recite Me toolbar. This includes screen reading functionality, multiple reading aids and customisable styling options. There is also an on-demand live translation feature with more than 100 languages, including 65 text-to-speech options.

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As part of its consultation on plans to introduce tolls on the Blackwall and future Silvertown road tunnels under the River Thames, Transport for London has proposed that cross-river journeys on the Docklands Light Railway from Cutty Sark to Island Gardens and from Woolwich Arsenal to King George V would be free for at least one year.

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