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CPRE calls for major investment in the region’s rail network.

12th June 2020

CPRE calls on the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) to prioritise rail infrastructure that better supports the Midlands and the North, and which aligns with our climate committments under the Paris agreement.

CPRE’s North West group has responded to the NIC’s call for evidence on rail investment priorities for the North and Midlands.

We believe that

  • Further electrification of the region’s rail network is vital, particularly the busy Trans-Pennine corridor between Manchester and Leeds
  • The heavily-congested section between Manchester Piccadilly and Deansgate is the biggest single issue, which affects the region’s rail services as whole. Urgent action is needed to increase capacity;
  • Several towns in the region should be brought back onto the rail network including Skelmersdale and Fleetwood;
  • ‘Cinderella’ routes such as the Middlewich Line, Preston – Ormskirk, Wigan – Kirkby and the Cumbrian Coast need major upgrades; and
  • More freight on rail is vital, especially from Liverpool Ports, requiring further electrification and gauge enhancement on the important Trans-Pennine route and other measures across the region.

Andy Yuille, Chair of CPRE North West group, said: ” CPRE is an advocate of more rail usage in England. We want improvements to the connectivity and capacity of the main town and cities across Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria and to our rural places. The Government needs a serious review of its transport policies to properly respond to the Climate Emergency. Road building should be an option of last resort with adequate commitment to rail investment to optimise a modern rail system. We trust the National Infrastructure Commission will listen.”

Download our full response here:

Manchester Piccadilly Rail Station
Manchester Piccadilly Rail Station - Becca Nelson
Quernmore landscape