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Anger as official report shows money was only reason for cancelling local rail improvement

April 9, 2018 9:30 PM

Local campaigners have reacted with anger at the revelation that money was the only reason the government cancelled plans to improve rail services in Leicestershire.

Last year the government cancelled plans to electrify the East Midlands Mainline north of Kettering, which runs through Leicestershire and much of the East Midlands. The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the improvements weren't needed because the rail service would be improved instead by the use of bi-mode trains.

However an official report from the National Audit Office confirms these improved trains were not available and the only reason the government cancelled the planned rail improvement was money.

Reacting to the news Leicestershire Lib Dem county Councillor Michael Mullaney said "This news shows yet again how the current Conservative government takes Leicestershire and the East Midlands for granted.

"The report shows the cancellation was solely due to money. Yet the very week the Conservative government cancelled the £1billion fully planned and budgeted for improvements to our local rail service, the government confirmed the £20billion plans for Crossrail, railway improvements for the South East and London.

"This just shows how this is a government that will pour money into London and the South-East whilst forgetting about people here in the East Midlands.

"The East Midlands gets some of the lowest levels of investment in infrastructure in the country, but yet again the Conservative government refuses to fund a project that will benefit our region, but is happy to pour enormous sums into the south.

"Electrification of the East Midlands Mainline will mean cleaner, faster and greener trains. Better for local people and for local businesses. I hope the government will think again and support the electrification of the Midland Mainline a vital rail improvement that Leicestershire needs."