East Coast Mainline councils meet in York

24 Jan 2013 @ 2.21 pm
| News

The ECML Group, which represents authorities as far south as Stevenage and as far north as East Lothian, Scotland, alongside Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Newark & Sherwood, North Yorkshire, Doncaster, Durham, Darlington, Northumberland, Peterborough, and Lincolnshire councils and Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and West Yorkshire ITA. Photograph: York council

Issued by City of York Council

Council representatives from right across the East Coast Mainline (ECML) met in York today, to discuss how they can build a business case to the Department for Transport (DfT) and Network Rail for further investment in the line.

Cllr James Alexander, leader of City of York Council and Kersten England, Chief Executive of City of York Council were among the lead authorities to meet at the National Railway Museum this morning.

The meeting saw agreement for further discussion around the franchise and investment in the development of key sites up and down the line.

Cllr James Alexander commented: “We met with the Transport Minister Simon Burns in December and had positive discussions on how all East Coast authorities can have a closer working partnership with the DfT throughout the franchise process, and developing the business case which could significantly improve its capacity, reliability and connectivity.

“We want to build on this and raise the profile of local government and bring together information on economic growth opportunities which can be fed through to investment decision making. In being at the table when discussions on the future of the ECML take place, we can look to work with the DfT to maximise the value of this and any further investments made.”

The ECML Group represent’s 18 authorities and first met in October, which coincided with the Department of Transport’s (DfT) announcement that the ECML franchising would not be put on hold, to ensure that those authorities along the line join forces to present a strong position to government and call for improvements to its infrastructure, in line with increasing visitor and commercial demand.

In strongly supporting York’s call for a collaborative approach, the length of the line and across the political spectrum, the group will continue to meet to identify joint priorities for investment across the line to work with the DfT, and to push forward a collective position on the ECML improvements.