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Metro Chairman Cllr James Lewis has welcomed
the announcement by the Department for Transport of the proposed
£9bn of funding for rail services between 2014 and 2019.
"This is good news for West Yorkshire's rail passengers, as the
High Level Output Statement includes many schemes that Metro has
been pushing the DfT to support, including more capacity at peak
times," he said.
"By fully funding the complete Northern Hub scheme, and by
extending electrification to include the routes to York and Selby,
we will see more trains every hour between Leeds and Manchester on
a fully electrified trans-Pennine route, which will allow the
existing diesel trains to be used to increase capacity on services
"Completion of the Northern Hub, together with the proposed
electrification of the Midland Main Line will provide a building
block towards improvements identified by Metro and its counterparts
in South Yorkshire in the Yorkshire Rail Network
Study, such as capacity enhancements on the Caldervale and
Harrogate routes. The study identifies £12bn of economic
benefits for the region by providing better connections on a
modern, electric railway between the major northern economic
centres of Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Doncaster and York.
"I am pleased to see additional funding for enhancements to the
East Coast Main Line," he added. "As well as bringing benefits to
existing services, the electrification of the Midland Main Line
means high-speed trains can extend north of Birmingham in advance
of the completion of the high-speed network in 2033, which we have
been pushing for in advance of HS2 as we know how vital it is to
the City region economy.
"Taken with the previous announcement of the Leeds
City Region City Deal and the bid by northern
Transport Authorities to take greater responsibility for our rail
services, this represents a significant boost for rail services
across the north."