15 Nov 2019

Writing in The Telegraph 15 November 2019, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps stated that the Conservatives had identified the following as likely to benefit from a £500 million 'Beeching Reversal Fund' and would "be exploring others":

  • Thornton-Cleveleys to Fleetwood line north of Blackpool, seven miles of disused freight track, serving a population of 57,000
  • Ashington, Seaton Delaval and Blyth line in Northumberland, which would give 100,000 people a direct rail link to Newcastle using a current freight line. Northumberland council would benefit from £99m to reinstate stations
  • Skelmersdale line in Lancashire, which would need only two miles of new track to connect it to existing lines to Liverpool and Manchester.

Plans are already underway to reopen Willenhall and Darlaston stations on the Walsall to Wolverhampton line in the West Midlands and would receive £18m to reopen stations.

Currently the largest entirely third party funded rail scheme in England is the nationally significant rail scheme MetroWest Phase 1, which when completed will connect Portishead residents directly to the national rail network. The application for a development consent order to authorise this project was submitted on 15 November 2019.