The Department continues to forecast significant growth in use of rail and is constantly considering proposals for new investment which represent best value of money for the taxpayer.
We are fully committed to investing in the north as part of our ambitious plans to build a Northern Powerhouse. That is why we are spending £13billion improving the region’s transport, reversing decades of underinvestment, providing better journeys and securing long-term economic growth. We are investing £22 million in improving Newcastle station and its surrounding areas, and in the next few years passengers will see improvements including more services, more capacity and the scrapping of Pacers, as well as a fleet of state-of-the-art new trains for the East Coast Mainline.
The modernisation of the Great Western is the biggest investment in this railway since it was built by Brunel. This investment will enable faster, more reliable services, more seats, better stations and more freight trains. This will improve the experience of rail users and stimulate economic growth across the South West and beyond. Completion of electrification to Cardiff is planned to be completed in CP5.
The step change seen in London spending last year is due to increased spending on London Underground and HS2 plus some increase in the Network Grant. This investment is needed to meet the ever increasing demand for passenger journeys into London, of which there are currently about 4 billion every year.
The most recent government expenditure on rail is shown in the table below. Figures for 15/16 are not currently available and will be published in November 2016.
Government expenditure on railways1 per head of population
Yorkshire & Humber
East of England
1 Includes expenditure on all types of railway
Source: HMT, ONS