Tuesday, 21 December 2021
Midland Main Line electrification work is the Christmas present East Midlands economy needs
Commenting on the Department for Transport’s announcement that work to electrify the Midland Main Line between Kettering and Market Harborough will commence this week, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) chief executive Scott Knowles said: “Electrifying the Midland Main Line is one of the biggest infrastructure priorities for our region, so it’s fantastic to see some real progress finally being made with work beginning – a welcome early Christmas present for the East Midlands economy.
“After the huge disappointment of the HS2 Eastern Leg being scaled back significantly, once more leaving the East Midlands at risk of being structurally disadvantaged compared to the west of the country, this is a great opportunity for the Department for Transport (DfT) to demonstrate it is serious about delivering much-needed infrastructure in our region.
“It will also offer some confidence to potential investors that our region is a great place to spend their money, which ultimately benefits businesses and residents across Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire because investment begets investment.
“However, it must be remembered that we were promised upgrades to this key rail route many years ago and we are merely playing catch-up. This is also just the first small step of a major project, so it’s important we now have a full timetable and clear milestones for the delivery of the entire Midland Main Line electrification.
“Timescales in the Integrated Rail Plan suggested it won’t be completed until 2030 at the earliest but we will be pushing the DfT to speed this up because after years of uncertainty over the future of our rail infrastructure, we can’t afford to waste any time.”Back