Regional transport conference chaired by Priti Patel MP outlines route to major Government investment in GEML
Witham MP, Priti Patel, has today (11th July) chaired the Great Eastern Mainline Taskforce Stakeholder Conference, at the Civic Centre, Chelmsford. The Conference updated key stakeholders on the progress being made by the GEML Taskforce and focused on the Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC), which is nearing completion and is the first stage in the process of applying for funding through the Government’s Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline.
The Conference also provided an update on the Wider Economic Benefit Study, being carried out by the Taskforce and which will demonstrate the huge economic value of investment in improving rail infrastructure in the region, expected to be as much as £4.5 billion.
Commenting after the conference, Priti said: “The GEML Taskforce, which I Chair, has achieved some major successes following our 2014 business case including securing £1.5 billion for the new Greater Anglia franchise in 2015, the introduction of Norwich in 90 services in May and the forthcoming roll out of new trains across the GEML later this summer. However, our region is set to experience significant economic and business growth over the next 25 years and it is important that we update our business case to reflect these changes and secure investment for rail infrastructure to deliver capacity on the network and unlock the full economic potential of our region. We need the rail service to serve our ambitions and we cannot afford to let our infrastructure fall behind.
“The Taskforce has been working hard on preparing the case for major Government investment for the Great Eastern Main Line and today’s conference has brought together key stakeholders to update them on our progress and seek their support to help build our case for investment. Our objective is to submit our business case to the Government later this year to secure vital funding through the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline process.”
Some 60 key stakeholders attended the conference, including representatives from LEPs, rail user organisations; County, City and Borough Councils, railway companies and road haulage. Westminster was represented by Sandy Martin MP and James Cartlidge MP.