Response to PM’s announcement on East Coast investment 

Commenting on today’s announcement on East Coast Main Line improvements by the Prime Minister, Newcastle North MP, and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the East Coast Main Line, Catherine McKinnell said:

‘Whilst I welcome that this funding re-announcement seeks to address some of the line’s immediate requirements, it fails to scratch the surface of some really fundamental issues.

‘Despite being one of the country’s most important strategic transport routes, the East Coast Main Line has not seen any significant investment in its infrastructure for almost 30 years.

‘We need a commitment to invest in the route for the long term, to ensure that the right parts of it will be HS2-ready – and to ensure that those communities not served by HS2 won’t be left behind.

‘We also need to see some detail on which of the list of much-needed improvement projects along the line will be funded and when.

‘I recently wrote to the Rail Minister outlining some of these concerns and asking for more clarity on his Department’s specific plans for investment in the route, and I look forward to receiving his response.’

The APPG on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) was established by Catherine McKinnell in March, to campaign for investment in the route, to improve passenger experience, capacity and reliability, and for shorter journey times.

The cross-party group of MPs and Peers also focuses on the economic growth which could be unlocked in the areas served by the ECML if these improvements are delivered, and on the future operation of the route which has been beset by problems for most of the last decade.

Catherine’s recent letter to the Rail Minister can be read here: