To help keep you informed about the political landscape, Rail Forum Midlands has delved into the manifestos to extract all the rail-related policies from the UK political parties:
Conservative Party Election 2019 Manifesto: Get Brexit Done Unleash Britain’s Potential
An infrastructure revolution for this country.
Now is the time to invest in Northern Powerhouse Rail, and the Midlands Rail Hub.
We will invest in the Midlands Rail Hub, strengthening rail links including those between Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, Coventry, Derby, Hereford and Worcester.
We will also invest in improving train lines to the South West and East Anglia.
We will extend contactless pay-as-you-go ticketing to almost 200 more stations in the South East, meaning that 50 per cent of all rail journeys and almost all London commuter journeys can be completed using a contactless bank card.
We will give city regions the funding to upgrade their bus, tram and train services to make them as good as London’s, with more frequent, better-integrated services, more electrification, modern buses and trains and smart ticketing – such as the vision proposed by Andy Street for the West Midlands.
The railways need accountability, not nationalisation. So, we will end the complicated franchising model and create a simpler, more effective rail system, including giving metro mayors control over services in their areas.
We will make a £28.8 billion investment in strategic and local roads. We will invest £1 billion in completing a fast-charging network to ensure that everyone is within 30 miles of a rapid electric vehicle charging station. We will consult on the earliest date we can phase out the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars, while minimising the impact on drivers and businesses.
We will require that a minimum service operates during transport strikes. Rail workers deserve a fair deal, but it is not fair to let the trade unions undermine the livelihoods of others.
HS2 is a great ambition but will now cost at least £81 billion and will not reach Leeds or Manchester until as late as 2040. We will consider the findings of the Oakervee review into costs and timings and work with leaders of the Midlands and the North to decide the optimal outcome.
Connectivity is not just about the UK’s great cities. To help communities across the country, we will restore many of the Beeching lines, reconnecting smaller towns such as Fleetwood and Willenhall that have suffered permanent disadvantage since they were removed from the rail network in the 1960s.
To underpin this national renewal, we will invest £100 billion in additional infrastructure spending – on roads, rail and other responsible, productive investment which will repair and refurbish the fabric of our country and generate greater growth in the long run. For example, flood defences will receive £4 billion in new funding.
A transport revolution A key part of our plan to level up the UK’s cities and regions is to connect them. Leeds is the largest city in Western Europe without a light rail or metro system. And European cities are often more productive than our own in large part because they have better infrastructure.
We will connect our cities: We will build Northern Powerhouse Rail between Leeds and Manchester and then focus on Liverpool, Tees Valley, Hull, Sheffield and Newcastle.
Labour Party Election 2019 Manifesto – It’s Time for Real Change (Brexit neutral)
We will kick-start a Green Industrial Revolution to tackle the climate emergency by shifting to renewable energy, investing in rail and electric cars, and making housing energy-efficient, to reduce fuel poverty and excess winter deaths.
We will bring rail, mail, water and energy into public ownership to end the great privatisation rip-off and save you money on your fares and bills.
Labour will deliver improvements for rail passengers by bringing our railways back into public ownership, using options including franchise expiry. This will enable us to make fares simpler and more affordable, rebuild the fragmented railways as a nationally integrated public service, cut the wastage of private profit, improve accessibility for disabled people, ensure safe staffing levels and end driver-only operation.
Our publicly owned rail company will steer network planning and investments. It will co-ordinate mainline upgrades, re-signalling, rolling stock replacement and major projects.
We will implement a full, rolling programme of electrification. Our model will ensure continuity of skills, jobs and supply chain capacity to reduce costs, improve productivity and support the economic benefits of Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution.
We will introduce a long-term investment plan including delivering Crossrail for the North as part of improved connectivity across the northern regions.
We will consult with local communities to reopen branch lines.
We will also unlock capacity and extend high-speed rail networks nationwide by completing the full HS2 route to Scotland, taking full account of the environmental impacts of different route options.
We will deliver rail electrification and expansion across the whole country, including in Wales.
We will ensure that these major infrastructure projects are a model of good employment practice and pay due regard to the environmental impact.
We will promote the use of rail freight in order to reduce carbon emissions, air pollutants and congestion on the roads and expand the provision of publicly owned rail freight services.
We will increase the funding available for cycling and walking. We will bring together transport and land-use planning to create towns and cities in which walking and cycling are the best choice: safe, accessible, healthy, efficient, economical and pollution-free.
By improving public transport, Labour will help people to become less reliant on their cars, for our better health, for a cleaner environment and to improve quality of life in our towns and cities.
The Conservatives have committed to ending new sales of combustion engine vehicles by 2040. Labour will aim for 2030. We will position the UK at the forefront
Liberal Democrat Party General Election 2019 Manifesto: Stop Brexit Build a Brighter Future
Investment for the Future across the UK:
Liberal Democrats want to take advantage of historically low interest rates to increase borrowing for investment to build the economy of the future. We are committed to a responsible and realistic £130 billion package of additional infrastructure investment, which will prioritise:
Significant investment in public transport, including converting the rail network to ultra-low-emission technology (electric or hydrogen) by 2035, and a continued commitment to HS2, Crossrail 2 and other major new strategic rail routes.
There is enormous scope to improve Britain’s railways, providing reliable and affordable train services and cutting emissions. The Tories’ and Labour’s ideological obsessions – the former with privatisation, the latter with nationalisation – only serve to get in the way of making real improvements through investment and regulation. We will improve the railways, reform the franchising system and improve services to customers.
One of our first four priorities will be Investing in public transport, electrifying Britain’s railways and ensuring that all new cars are electric by 2030. We will:
Freeze rail fares for commuters and season ticket holders for a parliament, while we fix our railways.
Extend Britain’s rail network, improve stations, reopen smaller stations and restore twin-track lines to major routes.
Convert the rail network to ultra-low-emission technology (electric or hydrogen) by 2035 and provide funding for light rail and trams.
Support High Speed 2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, East-West Rail and Crossrail 2, but ensure far tighter financial controls and increased accountability to ensure that these projects are value for money, and address problems with implementation to ensure that HS2 opens as early as possible to meet our decarbonisation goals while minimising the destruction of precious UK habitats and woodland.
Start a revolution in rail franchising by opening up the bidding process to public sector companies, local or combined authorities, not-for-profits and mutuals – which have the potential to deliver much better services than private operators.
Build into new rail franchise agreements a stronger focus on customers, including investment in new stations, lines and modern trains.
Create a new Railways Agency to oversee the operations of the railway network, removing the Department for Transport from day-to-day decision-making.
Be far more proactive in sanctioning and ultimately sacking train operators if they fail to provide a high-quality public service to their customers.
Improve the experience of people who rely on the railways for work by investing in commuter routes and the integration of rail, bus and cycle routes.
Fix the broken fares and ticketing system so that it provides better value for money.
Improve disabled access to public transport via the Access for All programme.
Clean and Green:
To achieve our net-zero climate target by 2045, we aim to reduce emissions from surface transport to near zero; at the same time the transition to electric vehicles and from private to public transport will drastically cut air pollution.
Shift more freight from road to rail, including electrifying lines leading from major ports as an urgent priority, and amend the current HGV road user levy to take account of carbon emissions.
Support innovation in zero-emission technologies, including batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, supplementing government funding with a new Clean Air Fund from industry.
Implement, in cooperation with local authorities, light rail schemes for trams and tram-trains where these are appropriate solutions to public transport requirements.
Green Party Election 2019 Manifesto: If Not Now, When? (campaign for Remain)
Power and resource to devolved governments, elected mayors and local governments to transform their communities – new forms of common ownership of vital infrastructure including railways.
Ensure that all new housing developments built to ensure that residents don’t need to use cars to live a full life – safe access to local shops and schools within 1kn of local rail, tube or tram stations of 500m of high frequency bus service.
Create a new golden age of rail by opening the South West, Midlands and North with new connections – increasing capacity of passengers and freight to reduce bottlenecks and opening closed stations where possible. Divert money from ‘wasteful expense of HS2′ to traditional line improvements.
Electrify all lines between cities to improve punctuality. Create government owned ROSCO of new fleet of electric trains to run on newly electrified lines.
Give responsibility for running short-distance trains to local councils of groups of local councils to allow local communities to help shape their local services.
All rail will be brought back into public ownership after ten years.
Invest in additional freight routes which will be better connected to ports, to move more from road to rail.
Cancel HS2 to ‘end wasteful spending’ and invest more money in the regions especially Yorkshire with the creation of three electrified rail lines running from Liverpool and Manchester to Sheffield, Hull and the Tees Valley.
Capital expenditure: Upgrading rail capacity, including electrification: £12.2 billion.