Liberal Democrats pledge £3bn rail expansion
7th April 2010
The Liberal Democrats have, this week, unveiled plans for major rail expansion in Britain, in a bid to improve services and tackle carbon emissions from more polluting forms of transport.
The party announced on Monday that it would set up a Rail Expansion Fund
of nearly £3 billion if was elected at next month’s general election, creating the biggest expansion of the railways since the Victorian age.
Under the plan, councils and transport authorities would bid for money to pay for rail
improvement and expansion projects.
The Liberal Democrats said the railway expansion would be funded through cuts to the major roads
Liberal Democrat Shadow Transport Secretary Norman Baker said the plan would re-open “thousands of miles of track across the country and make our railway great again”.
Referring to Labour’s own proposals to create a high speed rail link between London and Birmingham
, Baker said “high speed rail is hugely important, but it is only part of the 21st century rail network Britain needs.
“Labour has allowed the railways to wither on the vine and punished passengers with huge fare hikes while more polluting forms of transport have got cheaper. All the while, the Tories have been sharpening the axe they will take to the transport budget.”
The Liberal Democrats are the only party of the three main ones to put the environment as one of their top pledges and the party claims that all its policies have a “green thread” running trough them.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, announced that the general election would be held on May 6.Related news:Green transport and rail newsRelated links:www.libdems.org.uk/environment