It’s been a busy week on the UK’s railways as the election race heats up. Labour and the Conservatives clash over the Tory pledge to spend £4.2 billion on a local public transport fund.
Elsewhere, the South Western Railway strikes have started over the role of guards on trains, which will affect many Christmas travellers. Here are this week’s top stories…
Labour & Tory clash over £4.2bn local public transport pledge
Local public transport across England will receive a £4.2 billion investment if the Conservatives win the General Election, according to the party.
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As part of the new and devolved Local Public Transport Fund, local leaders in eight mayoral or combined authority areas will have the final say over how the additional money is spent.
Mr Shapps said: “These plans will change the face of local transport in towns and cities across the country.”
But, Labour’s Shadow transport secretary, Andy McDonald, has labelled the announcement as an attempt to cover up the Government’s disastrous and incompetent failure to invest in public transport.” Read the full story here.
What are party promises on Britain’s railways?
It has been a month of promises and revelations with the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives releasing their manifesto spending pledges.
Here is what the three main parties are promising on our railways, including on Northern Powerhouse Rail, HS2, electrification, reopening closed lines, ending the franchising system, rail fares and public services. Read the full story here.
South Western Railway 27-day strike begins
Commuters are being warned to expect delays as workers on South Western Railway begin a 27-day strike.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union will walk out for 27 days between today and New Year’s Day, threatening travel chaos for commuters and Christmas shoppers.
Passengers have been warned that only around half of services will run, including those to and from London Waterloo, the country’s busiest railway station. Read the full story here.
Hitachi to build 23 trains for Avanti West Coast in £350m contract
The 125mph intercity trains will be built at the firm’s factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. They are expected to enter service from 2022. Read the full story here.
Railway stations launch initiative to help passengers with hidden disabilities
Four of the country’s biggest railway stations will now offer passengers with hidden disabilities a subtle way to ask for extra help while making their journeys.
To mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3, sunflower branded lanyards and ticket holders are now available at Manchester Piccadilly, London Euston, Liverpool Lime Street and Birmingham New Street stations.
The lanyard and ticket holders, which are entirely voluntary for anyone who would benefit from them, act as a sign for staff that additional support or help may be required. Read the full story here.
LNER to say goodbye to Inter-City 125 High Speed Train
LNER will mark the retirement of the HSTs by operating a four-day special service taking in the majority of destinations along the LNER route. Read the full story here.
Govia Thameslink launch Great Sock Appeal to aid homelessness crisis
Selected homeless charities and Govia Thameslink are teaming up this Christmas to provide support for the homeless as the winter frost takes hold.
A new initiative, the Great Sock Appeal, will encourage rail commuters to donate a new pair of socks for those sleeping rough over the festive period. Read the full story here.
Vital upgrades on Edinburgh Haymarket track to take place over Christmas
Engineers will be working “around-the-clock this Christmas” to renew a key junction near Edinburgh Haymarket station, Network Rail announce.
Between December 25 to December 29, Haymarket East junction will undergo a major upgrade to renew four sets of points (rails which move to transfer trains from one line to another) and replace over 250m of track. Read the full story here.
East Lancashire Railway announce 2020 Flying Scotsman return
The world famous Ex-LNER ‘A3’ No. 60103 ‘Flying Scotsman’ will be steaming back to the East Lancashire Railway for a series of visits in 2020.
To celebrate St Andrews Day and the 85th anniversary of a certain locomotive officially recorded as reaching 100mph, East Lancashire Railway announce that Flying Scotsman will visit in the new year. Read the full story here.
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