politics

Boris Johnson hints North is set for major rail boost to build Britain back from the pandemic


BORIS Johnson hinted the north is set for a major infrastructure boost to railroad the nation to build back from the pandemic.

The PM, speaking to railway chiefs yesterday, outlined plans to speed up major projects saying he wants the Department for Transport (DfT) and Network Rail ‘to halve the time and slash the cost’ of projects.

Boris Johnson wants to speed up rail projects to benefit the North of England

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Boris Johnson wants to speed up rail projects to benefit the North of EnglandCredit: AFP

He said: “We know that it is by infrastructure, innovation and skills, we will spread opportunity around the country.

“We know the good efficient mass transit systems are the great social and economic levers and bringers of hope.

“It’s thanks to your efforts that post-coved, post-Brexit Britain will be propelled by a new generation of electric or even hydrogen trains whizzing down the ringing grooves of change as I think [the poet] Tennyson puts it.

“Reopening Beeching lines, renewing the very musculoskeletal system of the country.”

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris added: “The whole country has relied on the transport industry over the past year, to keep the country moving, supplies delivered and key workers to their jobs saving lives.

“We are now depending on transport to kickstart our economic recovery.

“Rail Project SPEED, forged alongside Network Rail, is a call to arms to cut unnecessary red tape, be bold and purposeful, and empower the railway to be radical in its thinking to halve the time and reduce the cost of delivering infrastructure projects.

“By maximising the benefits of every pound that we’re channelling into rail, we will make the case for continued investment.

“Our intention is to create a more resilient, resourceful and robust railway, equipped for the challenges ahead and delivering better for its passengers, as we build back better from Covid-19.”

Boris' speech mentioned hydrogen-powered trains, like this one in Germany

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Boris’ speech mentioned hydrogen-powered trains, like this one in GermanyCredit: AFP
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