FOI request (FOI-84655402)
Requested Mon 13 August 2018
Responded Tue 21 August 2018
I am the Research Director for David Campbell Bannerman MEP, who is conducting a comprehensive, factual, non-party political investigation into Britain's railways and examining the case for a substantial programme of rail line and station re-openings. The intention is to publish late 2018/early 2019, and the working title is 'The Bannerman Report', as a direct rebuttal of the 'Beeching Report' of 1963 ('The Reshaping of British Railways').
As part of this investigation, David is interested in assessing the current extent and range of policy support and financial support for rail services being provided by local authorities and similar bodies, and any local plans for expansion of closed rail routes and/or enhancement of operational railways such as through new stations, including references to appropriate local, area or other plans.
Mr Campbell Bannerman previously worked as a transport adviser for rail ministers on rail franchising; was author of the 1993 Bow Group report 'Levelling The Tracks: Using Rail Privatisation to Right an Historic Imbalance'; was a local councillor working on Transport Strategy; served as Communications Director of ATOC (the Association of Train Operating Companies) 1997-99; as Chairman of the Spa Valley Railway (Tunbridge Wells), reopening a railway closed as late as 1985; and worked on planning HS1, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. He currently serves as an MEP for the East of England.
Q1. How much funding is your authority providing and/or has it authorised funding for:
- Rail infrastructure (e.g. new track, pointwork, signalling, bridges, platforms, stations, refurbishment)
- Rail vehicles (locomotives, coaches, wagons)
- Rail services
- Railway enhancement (e.g. station refurbishment, bus and cycle facilities, CCTV, heritage refurbishment)?
If so, please confirm whether the service is jointly funded by any other public authority or public body.
Q2. Under any adopted policy, what local rail routes would your authority like to see reopened for passenger use, and for what categories from those shown below?
- Express service (fast, high speed, long distance, Inter City, Eurostar etc.)
- Regional service (semi-fast, limited stop, inter-urban, commuter etc.)
- Local service (stopping, commuter etc.)
- Metro (suburban, stopping, commuter, overground etc.)
- Subway/Underground/Tube (urban, stopping, part underground)
- Light Rail/Tram/Tram-trains etc (urban, stopping, bus equivalent)
- Heritage/tourist (steam, diesel, electric - please state if narrow not standard gauge)
- Other (please provide further information).
Q3. Under any adopted policy, what local rail routes would your authority like to see reopened for freight use?
- Intermodal (container) freight (e.g. freightliner shipping containers, waste trains)
- Trainload haul (e.g. bulk like metals, oil, construction materials, coal, biomass)
- Cars or other vehicles (e.g. BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, including international)
- General freight (e.g. timber, packaged goods e.g. such Asda and Tesco rail, vegetables etc.).
Q4. If passenger services should be restored or new services introduced on reopened rail lines, does your authority have a policy preference for provision by:
- Direct local authority service contract (as with say, bus services) - for example, with a modern operating company of a current heritage railway operation?
- A special independent 'micro-franchise' contract, but simpler, less costly and more focused than national or regional franchises - as originally proposed by the Government?
- A Community Rail Partnership or sub contract of an existing larger franchise operation?
ResponseQ1 - We have provided no funding for railway infrastructure, vehicles, services or enhancement, although East Sussex County Council (ESCC) have, as they are the transport authority. Please visit their website for further information: www.eastsussex.gov.ukQ2 - All three railway lines to/from Hastings remain open, but we would like to see high speed services introduced between Hastings and London (via Ashford and HS1)Q3 - Information not heldQ4 - N/A
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