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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will discuss with (a) HM Treasury, (b) the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, (c) the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and (d) other key stakeholders steps to establish the funding necessary to the deliver the key strategic rail infrastructure improvements identified by the Great Eastern Main Line Rail Task Force.
The Department is developing a new approach to rail enhancements, building on the process set out in the “Memorandum of Understanding between Department for Transport and Network Rail on Rail Enhancements,” which will be set out shortly. This approach will take the form of a pipeline, and will focus on ensuring investment which best addresses the needs of passengers and freight, and that funding commitments appropriately reflect the stage of development of enhancements.
The improvements identified by the Great Eastern Main Line Rail Task Force will be taken forward under this approach. They have not yet progressed to a decision to deliver, so we cannot confirm funding for their delivery at this time. If the Task Force is able to identify alternative sources of funding, the Department may be able to progress the schemes further through the pipeline.