More projects to reverse Beeching rail cuts given Government funding

Fifteen more proposals to reverse historical reductions in the rail network have secured development funding.

Boris Johnson pledged to “restore many of the rail services lost in the Beeching cuts”.

The Government has previously allocated £500 million towards accessing the feasibility of reopening closed lines and stations.

Ten schemes were given development funding in May, with a further 15 announced on Wednesday in the National Infrastructure Strategy.

Projects to benefit from the latest round of funding include reopening Ferryhill station, County Durham; reinstating links between Bolton, Radcliffe and Bury, Greater Manchester; and restoring the link between Stratford-upon-Avon and the Honeybourne/Worcester/Oxford line.

Richard Beeching looking at a large map, showing how British Rail trunk routes might look in 1984  (PA)
Richard Beeching looking at a large map, showing how British Rail trunk routes might look in 1984 (PA)

Sim Harris, managing editor of industry newspaper Railnews, described the announcement as “welcome but tantalisingly vague on details, on money and exactly what is proposed”.

He told PA news agency that the £500 million budget would “barely pay for one short line”.

He added: “They’re going to need quite a few billions to do something like this.”

British Railways chairman Dr Richard Beeching published a report in 1963 which led to the rail network being decimated.

He recommended the closure of more than 6,000 miles of railway and 2,300 stations due to low demand and high costs.

This was around a third of the network.

– Here are the 15 projects being developed under the Government’s Beeching reversal fund:

1. Reopening Beeston Castle and Tarporley station, Cheshire.
2. Reopening St Anne’s Park station, Bristol.
3. Reopening Ferryhill station, County Durham.
4. Reinstating links between Bolton, Radcliffe, and Bury, Greater Manchester.
5. Reinstating the Stratford-upon-Avon to Honeybourne/Worcester/Oxford line.
6. New stations in Waverley, South Yorkshire.
7. A station in the Langport/Somerton area of Somerset.
8. Improved services from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.
9. Improved services from Falmouth, Cornwall.
10. Upgrading the South Fylde line, Lancashire.
11. Upgrading the Maid Marian line between Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
12. Reinstating rail access to Cirencester, Gloucestershire.
13. Restoring services between Swanage and Wareham, Dorset.
14. Restoring the South Humber rail link, Lincolnshire.
15. A new link between Consett and Newcastle.