Commenting on the Coalition Government's announcement of a £9bn package of railway investment, Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Transport, Julian Huppert said:
"For decades our railways have been neglected. Over the last 50 years our network has halved, but since 1980 passenger journeys have doubled. The result is a less efficient and more expensive rail network than our European counterparts.
"I am delighted that the Coalition Government is doing the right thing, prioritising spending on rail to sort out this mess, despite the massive deficit.
"This investment will reduce journey times, create new services, ease over-crowding, bring down running costs, reduce the impact on the environment and generate jobs and growth across the country.
"The costs of using trains shot up under Labour and we need to continue to ensure rail transport becomes more affordable.
"Liberal Democrats believe that public transport should be sustainable, reliable and available to all. We were the first to back high-speed rail and the strongest supporters of new investment. Now we're in Government, the country is investing more than at any time since the Victorian era."
The Coalition has today announced an extra £4.2 billion of infrastructure investment for our railways, in addition to the £5.2 billion already announced for 2014-19. This includes funding for the Northern Hub; electrification of Welsh railways; £700 million for over-crowding in the South-East; £240 million for the East Coast Main Line and a new "Electric Spine" to improve links between North, South, East and West.
The East Midlands will benefit from the new Electric Spine - a passenger and freight corridor linking the core centres of population and economic activity in the East and West Midlands and Yorkshire with the South of England, which includes electrifying the Midland Main Line from Sheffield through Chesterfield, Derby, Nottingham and Leicester.