Labour promises to ‘forge ahead’ with new railways

The Labour manifesto has been published today, and it promises that if the party is elected the new government will set up a National Infrastructure and Service Transformation Authority.

It says this authority will combine existing bodies, ‘set strategic infrastructure priorities’ and ‘oversee’ project designs, scope and completion. Labour is pledging to ‘forge ahead with new roads, railways, reservoirs, and other nationally significant infrastructure’.

Basic reforms of the railway industry are also set out. They include returning most of the passenger railway to public control under Great British Railways, ‘as contracts with existing operators expire or are broken through a failure to deliver’.

Shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh said last night that if her party came to power next month, she would be asking ’for early advice’ about whether Avanti West Coast had ‘already breached’ its contract and whether she would be able to end that contract earlier than the next break point, which would occur in October 2026.

Open access services, which the manifesto describes as ‘an important part of the rail system’, will continue.

Mayors will have a part in designing the services in their areas, while there will be a duty to promote and increase rail freight.

A ‘tough new passenger watchdog’ will be formed, as predicted in Labour’s earlier document, Getting Britain moving, which was published in April.

Back to News

Related Articles