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

Wednesday, September 3, 2014
9:19 AM

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

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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.

Do you have a story about rail funding? Email annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk

10 comments

  • Influential m.p's? (notice I'm using lowercase!) - they caused the problem in the 1st place. Doubt our Chloe will be around long enough to do anything about it, anyway (May 2015!)

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    biglingers

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Good old Chloe Smith, where would we be without her, apart from about £90k better off. The Transport committee was going to look at this anyway, it's their job, dear Chloe just thought she would assume ownership for it. I don't expect Chloe to buy us new train but I do expect to have seen something tangible from her involvement, that is her job not wafting around trying to look like she cares. The shortfall in our area has been known for sometime but nothing has been done about it, I guess if the train service was any good they wouldn't be able to isolate the terrorist they want to drop off here.

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    parkeg1

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Getting the committee to explore these figures is a positive step. There is a limit to what an MP can do apart from asking questions and keeping the pressure on the bodies that hold the purse strings and make the decisions. Some people apparently won't be happy with Chloe Smith until she buys new trains and personally relays the track.

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    a fine city

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Yes, Network Rail really DO need to upgrade Norwich - London route, more track at London, reliable signalling and maintenance on the overhead line equipment. I wont complain to much at the moment with Abellio because we are being treated with real trains for once occasionally on the Norwich-Lowestoft (and GY route). If you time it right we have DRS Diesels 47501 ("Craftsman") and 47813 ("Solent") top and tailing ! Real trains and real carriages, SO much better than the 156 bustrain. Well done DRS, more please! Perhaps you can bid for the next franchise!

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    Dave01

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • CEOs of Archant have an unhealthy obsession with Chloe Smith, makes you wonder if they are all sleeping in the same bed together?

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    che bramley

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • We must be getting close to an election.Must be hoping it will give her a few votes.

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    Norfolkman

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • These articles are getting boring, EDP. When Chloe Smith actually achieves some improvements to our train line I'll be first to congratulate her. But since 2009 she's achieved next to nothing for all the bluster.

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    Jeffrey Osborne

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Thirdly, a point which this paper and the critics always ignore: The franchise is set by the DfT. They dictate if new stock is ordered or not. They dictate frequency on lines. They dictate catering levels. Greater Anglia just bid on this and fulfil it. The new franchise will only get better if the DfT specify improvements.

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    Mooseyt4

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • Secondly, SouthEastern is really not comparable to the Anglia franchise, as it's a commuter railway with lots of short hops and isn't really comparable to the Intercity operations. Virgin might be a better comparison. That said SotuhEastern did get an entire new fleet of 375's, whilst all we got were some new 170's (now falling to pieces) and Virgin's cast off mk3's

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    Mooseyt4

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

  • I don't think Chloe Smith is influential, she has waffled on an awful lot and got her name on here very day but not delivered any improvements whatsoever

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    Mooseyt4

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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