In the Autumn Statement of 17 November the government recommitted to ‘transformative growth plans’ for rail including East West Rail, adding that ‘these will provide fast, more reliable services and connect people to new job opportunities’.
Cllr Steven Broadbent, Chair of the East West Main Line Partnership, said: “The Chancellor’s announcement on the future of East West Rail is a huge boost for the region’s residents and businesses, alongside the wider UK economy. East West Rail, delivered in full, will be a catalyst for economic growth and boost collaboration and innovation in our world class science and technology sectors.
“It will create new opportunities for our residents, with better access to jobs, education, training, tourist attractions and leisure pursuits. Their communities will be more sustainable, while East West Rail will support the regeneration of town centres. This is why East West Rail enjoys significant support from local authorities, businesses and residents right across the region.
“This announcement must lead to greater clarity for residents who may be impacted by East West Rail’s construction and operation as soon as possible, including on how the East West Railway Company has addressed feedback from its 2021 consultation.”
Our partners at England’s Economic Heartland sub-national transport body also released this statement:
Chair of England’s Economic Heartland, Cllr Richard Wenham, said: “EEH welcomes the Chancellor’s commitment to East West Rail as the right thing to do for the UK economy. With our global presence in advanced manufacturing, life sciences and digital services, this region is pivotal to the Chancellor’s ambitions for the UK to be the next Silicon Valley.
“EEH is working with partners to maximise the benefits of the government’s investment, including ensuring that stations are well served by public transport and active travel so that East West Rail can be accessed by as many people as possible.
“Clearly and as expected, the public sector will have additional budgetary challenges as a result of today’s announcements. A focus for England’s Economic Heartland is supporting local authorities with their capacity and capabilities to deliver the infrastructure required to support economic growth in the region while working towards net zero.”