‘Clear investment case’ for Trans-Pennine upgrade, says NAO

Northern No 195022 stands at Sheffield on 25 October 2021. PHILIP SHERRATT/MODERN RAILWAYS

The Department for Transport (DfT) has developed a clear case for investment on the Trans-Pennine Route Upgrade (TRU), according to a report from the National Audit Office (NAO) published on 20 July.

It points out that in the decade to 2019/20 passenger numbers increased by 29%, resulting in overcrowding and poor punctuality and presenting a barrier to economic growth in Northern England. NAO head Gareth Davies said: ‘Rail passengers in the north have contended with increasing over-crowding and delays for too long. It is good that plans for the Trans-Pennine Route upgrade are now agreed, but there are still significant risks to the programme’s progress that could cause further disruption. The Department for Transport, Network Rail and government must work together to manage these challenges and deliver the expected benefits for rail users.’


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