Globally there is a target to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050. The extreme weather many countries have had this year show how important it is that we make progress on this target as fast as possible. One challenging area is transport.
The 2010-2015 Coalition Government planned to electrify the Midland Main Line, the railway line from London to Sheffield, by 2020. This would reduce pollution and increase capacity on the line. With ‘green’ electricity from renewable sources it would also help train travel become “zero carbon”.
This target has come and gone. Meanwhile the Government’s HS2 project, building a whole new railway line from London to the Midlands and beyond, has been reduced. It will probably never reach Derby and is running seriously over time and over budget.
Liberal Democrat Lucy Care said “Recent Lib Dem research shows that, at the current rate, it will take 240 years to electrify UK railways. It is time to push for more progress. Electrification of our line to London – the Midland Main Line – will help Derby achieve its own zero carbon target as well as to allow faster, more frequent trains to London.”
We call for the Government to increase investment in rail line electrification. In particular we ask for a timetable for the electrification of the Midland Main Line to be achieved by 2028 at the latest. East Midlands communities are losing out due to changes and delay in the HS2 rail project. Electrification will help increase train capacity on this important East Midlands route, improve efficiency and air quality, reduce carbon emissions and support the East Midlands and Yorkshire economies.