Successful Bids for Restoring Your Railway Round 1 Announced
On 14 November 2019, the Government pledged £500 million towards reversing the Beeching cuts of the 1960s. Three rounds of applications were to be submitted, the first by March 2020.
To launch the reversal fund, the Government announced on 28 January 2020 that funding had been allocated to develop proposals for re-opening two lines in the near future. This comprised £1.5 million to the Ashington-Blyth-Tyne Line in Northumberland and £100,000 to the Fleetwood line in Lancashire.
The first round saw 62 applications for funds made and, on 23 May 2020, the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, announced the 10 bids that had been successful and would receive funding to further develop their proposals.
- reopening Meir Railway Station between Stoke-On-Trent and North Staffordshire
- passenger services on the Barrow Hill line between Sheffield and Chesterfield
- passenger services on the Leicester to Burton (Ivanhoe) line (via Ashby-de-la-Zouch, above)
- reinstatement of branch lines on the Isle of Wight (to Newport and Ventnor, below)
- reinstatement of passing loop between St Albans Abbey and Watford Junction (Abbey Line)
- reopening of Wellington and Cullompton stations
- passengers services on the Bury-Heywood-Rochdale lines
- regular passenger services on the Clitheroe to Hellifield railway line
- reinstatement of rail access to Devizes via a new station at Lydeway
- passenger services on the Totton-Fawley (Waterside) line
Campaign for Rail welcomes any initiative that supports the restoration of rail services. However, it is unfortunate that the Department for Transport failed to make public the 52 schemes that were turned down in round 1 as it is impossible to say whether any of the rejected schemes would have been more beneficial than those accepted. Campaign for Rail knows of two schemes within the West Midlands that were rejected in round 1, although both have been asked to submit further information in either round 2 or round 3.
However, two of the schemes that have received funding are in the Midlands area - the restoration of passenger services on the Ivanhoe line and the reopening of Meir station in Stoke-on-Trent - and Campaign for Rail wishes both promoting groups every success in their quest to see these Beeching cuts reversed.
UPDATE : On 8 September 2020, the Department for Transport published a complete list of all schemes submitted in Rounds 1 and 2. The full list can be viewed by clicking on the button below.