Received from: ASLEF
Congress was disappointed but unsurprised when the DfT delayed plans to complete the Birmingham to Crewe leg of HS2 along with the work to connect it to London Euston. These delays have led to job losses for those working on the construction and will cost the taxpayer more than completing HS2 as previously planned.
This is a further delay to a much needed new high speed line which will unlock capacity on the West Coast Mainline, improve passenger services in the North of England and additionally enable rail freight to grow. The delay is a failure of yet another Conservative government to properly invest in our rail network.
This lack of appropriate funding has been further evidenced by Network Rail’s plans for spending in 2024–2029, which is insufficient to renew core assets meaning that Network Rail is already planning speed restrictions to enable the safe operation of trains on aging infrastructure.
This underinvestment is occurring during a climate emergency where a properly funded rail network, alongside investment in electrification, is needed to help avert catastrophe.
Congress calls on the General Council to:
i. lobby the government to complete the original scope of HS2 in full
ii. lobby the government for the investment needed by Network Rail to be able to renew and maintain core assets to keep our rail network safe and reliable
iii. champion public transport and rail freight when highlighting how to tackle the climate emergency
iv. continue to support ASLEF’s ‘invest in rail’ and ‘rail electrification’ campaigns.