Report on Sheffield rail improvements ‘pause’ to be kept secret

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A document explaining the scale of problems affecting planned Sheffield railway route improvements is to be kept secret by the Government.

In June, the Government shelved plans for a £500m project to electrify the Midland Mainline between Sheffield and London.

The decision was made after the Government received an assessment of the state of major Network Rail projects, with work between Leeds and Manchester also ‘paused’.

The Department for Transport has now refused a Freedom of Information request from the BBC to release the assessment, even though it acknowledged there was a ‘public interest’. The DfT said officials needed a ‘free space’ to use the report to assess how improvements could be delivered.