MISERY FOR COTSWOLD LINE PASSENGERS AS NEW TRAINS DELAYED
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MISERY FOR COTSWOLD LINE PASSENGERS AS NEW TRAINS DELAYED

Cotswold Line passengers will pay the price for Britain’s debt crisis as replacement of the ageing High Speed 125 trains is delayed, says Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff
Transport Secretary Lord Adonis has postponed a plan to replace the UK's ageing fleet of intercity trains because of Britain's debt. The new trains were due to replace 30-year-old trains on the Great Western and East Coast main lines.

In a statement today, Lord Adonis said a ‘reduction in the capacity of the debt market to support the transaction’ had made an impact. Slowing passenger growth had also affected the project.

"In all the circumstances, the Government does not believe it would be appropriate to enter into this particular contract in the immediate run up to a General Election."

Sir Andrew Foster, former controller of the Audit Commission, would provide an independent assessment within three months of the ‘value for money of the programme and the credibility and the value for money of any alternatives which meet the programme's objectives’.

Shadow Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers said,

“The Intercity Express Programme has been blighted by Government incompetence at every turn. It was Labour's obsessive micromanagement of our railways that led to Whitehall officials designing trains down to the last bolt, which created huge cost inflation.”

Peter Luff added,

“I agree with the train operators that the government should be giving them more freedom over the design and specification of these and all other trains used on our railways.

“There is little point redoubling the track between Evesham and Oxford if we are going to be denied the decent trains to run on it. We need to see an end to the use of the woefully inadequate Turbo commuter trains that still run on some services between Worcestershire and London, but today’s announcement means we will probably see more of them instead.

“This is yet another local manifestation of the seriousness of our debt crisis – and I fear it won’t be the last.”

ENDS


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