Sheffield MP urges Government to think again on scrapping electrifying Midland Mainline

A Sheffield MP has urged the Government to U-turn on scrapping the electrification of a major rail route through the city.

Thursday, 18th January 2018, 12:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th January 2018, 12:55 pm
Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield has urged the Government to think again on scrapping electrifying the Midland Mainline.

Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield said new figures showed 'huge environmental benefits' delivering nearly '25 times' the greenhouse gas savings than the Government’s preferred option of introducing bi-mode trains that run on diesel and electricity.

The Midland Mainlane is major rail route running from Sheffield to London. Plans to electrify the line were scrapped by ministers back in July 2017.

The investment would have made the route faster and more environmentally friendly.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mr Blomfield said the Government finally admitted their own environmental impact assessment had showed that electrifying the Midland Mainline from London to Sheffield would deliver '£271m' of greenhouse gas savings over the next 60 years compared to '£11m' from introducing bi-mode trains.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday, Mr Blomfield asked if the Government are 'really serious' in their commitment to the environment urged them to U-turn.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling didn't mentioned the Midland Mainline directly but in response, said: "I expect to see the transformation of technology in our railways over the coming years with the introduction of different types of battery electric, hybrid and hydrogen trains.

"I see that as a priority, I want to see the first hydrogen train operating on our railway network in a short period of time."

Speaking afterwards, Mr Blomfield said: “It’s shocking that the Government’s own study shows the massive environmental benefits of electrification – and yet they scrapped it!

"The Government claim they’re committed to Northern transport and tackling climate change, but here they’re failing on both counts. They must get serious and electrify the Midland Mainline.”