Supplementary written evidence submitted by the
Department for Transport (TFU0011)
Funding cut from the rail enhancement budget
Thank you for your follow-up query in regard to the oral evidence session on ‘Trains fit for the future’, that took place on the 9th December 2020.
Allow me to make clear that no schemes have been cancelled nor formal investment decisions taken as a result of the Spending Review. We are continuing to work closely with Network Rail to agree a new baseline for the England and Wales enhancements portfolio that fits with the new funding envelope and will announce any impacts on individual schemes in due course. Therefore, at present we are unable to share the list of the locations and projects that will be affected, which you had requested.
We will continue to use a portfolio approach and the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline to manage the progression of schemes and we will make decisions on prioritisation through this approach balancing the needs of taxpayers and passengers.
We continue to deliver ambitious improvements, investing in key priorities including the Transpennine Route Upgrade, restoring lines and stations closed during the Beeching cuts and in HS2, with an unrelenting focus on levelling up our country and ensuring all communities have the connections they need to support growth and prosperity.
Finally, I would also like to take this opportunity to point out a point I missed on the subject of the Rail Industry Decarbonisation Taskforce report. The Secretary of State accepted the Taskforce’s recommendations on behalf of the Department in February of this year. The key recommendation for the Department was that we should set a clear direction for the rail industry on rail decarbonisation. Our forthcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan will set out the scale and pace of rail decarbonisation that will deliver our legal net zero commitment by 2050.