Government’s £800m Midlands Main Line upgrade scheme will benefit commuters

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AN £800m scheme to upgrade a railway line will have knock-on benefits for commuters.

The Government announced on Monday it had set aside funds for the electrification of the Midland Main Line, which includes services from Leicester to London St Pancras.

The scheme will also see key sections of the route upgraded, such as the line between Sheffield and Bedford.

Journey times will be cut and the Government hopes the scheme will encourage more commuters to use rail services, which will in turn free up space on the roads.

Managing director of East Midlands Trains, David Horne, welcomed the Government’s announcement.

He said: “This is a significant announcement which benefits our passengers and the communities we serve.

“Electrification will provide a smoother, quieter and quicker ride for passengers, cutting journey times while crucially delivering more capacity to cater for future growth.

“Not only will it be good for the environment, the project will create hundreds of jobs during the construction period, providing an estimated £450m of wider economic benefits to the cities and towns we serve.”

“It is estimated that electrifying the line from Bedford to Sheffield will save up to £60m every year in industry costs.

“That means within 10 years of completion, the electrification of the line will have paid for itself and will continue to reduce the cost of rail to the taxpayer year on year.”