East Coast Mainline

Stephen Hepburn MP for the Jarrow Constituency has called for government investment in the East Coast main line during Parliamentary Questions.

The Jarrow Constituency MP urged the Tories to invest in the East Coast main line after the Consortium of East Coast Main Line Authorities revealed that the route requires at least £3 billion of investment.  The government has already committed to investing £56 billion in HS2, £18 billion in Crossrail and £9 billion on the West Coast, and Mr Hepburn called on the government to invest heavily on the troubled East Coast main line as well.


Official figures published by Network Rail showed that just 75.2% of East Coast Main Line trains arrived within ten minutes of their scheduled time, well short of the national figure of 86%.  The figures also showed that almost twice as many East Coast main line trains were cancelled or classed as “significantly late”, compared to the rest of England and Wales.


During Transport Questions, Stephen Hepburn MP said:


“The Government are investing £56 billion in HS2, £18 billion in Crossrail and £9 billion on the West Coast. When will the Minister have some consideration for the people of the north-east, who do not get anything?


Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for the Department of Transport, responded:


“I refer the hon. Gentleman to the current £700 million upgrade to the east coast main line, the brand new trains arriving on the east coast main line, the new trains the Government are providing for the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Metro, our plans to reopen the Blyth to Ashington rail line with financial support from Nexus, the opening of the last leg of motorway-grade road between Newcastle and London, and of course the mayor of Teesside’s exciting plans for his airport.”


Stephen Hepburn MP added:


“The East Coast main line needs at least £3 billion to provide a good service and the poor state of the line at the moment is robbing the North East of tourism and the investment needed to create jobs. We are getting the crumbs off the table when transport spending per head in the North East was just £291 per person, compared with £944 per head in London. That needs to change and I’ll keep up the pressure on the government until the North East gets its fair share of funding.”

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