£500m Rail Investment to Reverse Beeching Closures

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has launched a new £500 million investment that will re-open lines and stations closed in the Beeching era cuts of the 1960s and 1970s.

Instigated by British Rail chief Dr Richard Beeching in 1963, the cuts closed more than 2,300 stations and up to 5,000 miles of track across the UK.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is inviting local authorities and community groups across England and Wales to propose how they could use the new funding to reinstate axed local services.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

“Many communities still live with the scars that came from the closure of their local railway more than 5 decades ago. Today sees work begin to undo the damage of the Beeching cuts by restoring local railways and stations to their former glory.

“Investing in transport links is essential to levelling up access to opportunities across the country, ensuring our regions are better connected, local economies flourish and more than half a century of isolation is undone.”

The DfT will hold events to listen to proposals, prioritising projects that offer the greatest potential, viability and economic benefits.

In addition to sourcing new proposals, the fund can also be used to progress the development of closed lines and stations already being considered for restoration.

Communities do not need to have been affected by the Beeching closures to be eligible for funding.

Advice on how to bid for funding will be provided at the DfT events.

A new £20 million round of the New Stations Fund is also being provided by the DfT to support both the development of new stations and restoration of old station sites.

Potential applicants should register with restoringyourrailway@dft.gov.uk for further details and updates.

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