Influential committee of MPs to look into Anglia’s poor rail deal

PUBLISHED: 09:19 03 September 2014 | UPDATED: 12:36 03 September 2014

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East Anglia’s poor deal when it comes to rail subsidies is set to be examined by an influential parliamentary committee.

Norwich MP Chloe Smith, who is a member of the transport select committee, said she had persuaded her committee to look at investment in rail because it was clear that East Anglia had not had its fair share.

It comes after the EDP last week laid bare statistics which show that per passenger mile on Abellio’s Anglian routes, the subsidy amounts to just 3pc of that received by some other parts of the country’s rail network.

The transport committee is currently holding an inquiry looking at investment in the railway, and MPs are set to examine Department for Transport statistics.

Ms Smith said: “I persuaded the committee to look at investment in rail because we know very clearly that East Anglia has not had its fair share.

“ have asked that we examine the subsidy figures for all parts of the country in the next few sessions, because it’s important to make clear how rail costs actually work. Then we can better put the detailed case for the investment we deserve in East Anglia, which is the aim of the campaign I lead.”

Under the current system, operators such as Abellio pay “premiums” to the Department for Transport, which then allocates money back to regions in the form of grants to Network Rail to improve and maintain the infrastructure in different parts of the country.

Calculations by the Department for Transport show the area covered by Greater Anglia receives less per passenger mile than other operators which have services running into London, including Southeastern, Virgin and First Great Western.

Last year, Greater Anglia paid a premium of £196.3m for the line, with a grant of £201.9m coming back to Network Rail in this region. By contrast, Southeastern, which has commuter lines into London, paid in a premium of £20.5m, with £237.5m paid to Network Rail for improvements in its area.

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