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Government to announce fund for restoring historic railway lines

Government to announce fund for restoring historic railway lines

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is to visit Fleetwood on Tuesday to announce a government fund to help restore historic railway lines.

In March 1963, Dr Richard Beeching presented a report on the railways with the aim of cutting rising debts of the nationalised rail system. The report led to around 2,300 stations being closed and around 5,000 miles of track being closed.

Rural stations and small branch lines were hit particularly badly by the cuts.

Some stations have re-opened in recent decades, however new plans by the Government could allow further lines and stations to be re-opened.

The investment in transport links is often designed to help improve the economy through better connectivity. Work will not be started on restoring the railway lines, but the government is giving some funding for proposals to be developed for two lines.

The £500m fund proposed by the government have been criticised by the RMT union, who has described the funds as a "drop in the ocean". Labour claimed the plans were "meaningless" and funding would only allow the reopening of 25 miles of railway lines.

 

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