BEECHING RAIL CUTS Fund to restore lines goes ahead amid criticism


A government fund is to be launched later to restore historic railway lines closed more than 50 years ago under the so-called Beeching cuts.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will visit Fleetwood to announce £21.9m for two railway lines and a New Stations Fund.

The £500m fund was promised in the Tory election manifesto in November, but Labour called the plan “meaningless”, adding that £500m would reopen just 25 miles of railway.

And the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) described the funds as a “drop in the ocean”.

Work is not being started on restoring the historic railway lines. Instead the government is giving funding to develop proposals for two lines – £1.5m to the Ashington-Blyth-Tyne Line in Northumberland, and £100,000 to the Fleetwood line in Lancashire.