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Petitions

Volume 705: debated on Thursday 16 December 2021

Petitions

Thursday 16 December 2021

Observations

Transport

Electrification of the Hull to Selby railway line

The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,

Declares that rail links to Hull are among the poorest in the north of England; further that the current train service reliability of 60 per cent or lower means it is quicker to travel to Leeds by road; further the Humberside economy is increasingly supplying renewable energy but poor rail connections to Hull and the port do not encourage sustainable transport choices; further electrifying the Leeds to Hull route via Selby, and significantly upgrading the railway line between Sheffield and Hull via Goole, will permit cleaner, faster and more reliable trains to run in and out of Hull; further this will provide an electrified railway from east to west and allow freight to cross coast to coast more efficiently; further the Government has committed to a carbon neutral economy by 2050.

The petitioners therefore requests that the House of Commons urges the Government to: prioritise the rail electrification of the Hull-Selby line and the upgrading of the railway line between Sheffield and Hull via Goole by inclusion in the forthcoming Integrated Rail Plan.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Emma Hardy, Official Report, 20 October 2021; Vol. 701, c. 890.]

[P002691]

The petition of residents of the United Kingdom,

Declares that rail links to Hull are among the poorest in the north of England; further that the current train service reliability of 60 per cent or lower means it is quicker to travel to Leeds by road; further that the Humberside economy is increasingly supplying renewable energy but poor rail connections to Hull and the port do not encourage sustainable transport choices; further that electrifying the Leeds to Hull route via Selby, and significantly upgrading the railway line between Sheffield and Hull via Goole, will permit cleaner, faster and more reliable trains to run in and out of Hull; further that this will provide an electrified railway from east to west and allow freight to cross coast to coast more efficiently; and notes that the Government has committed to a carbon neutral economy by 2050.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to prioritise the rail electrification of the Hull-Selby line and the upgrading of the railway line between Sheffield and Hull via Goole by inclusion in the forthcoming Integrated Rail Plan.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Dame Diana Johnson, Official Report, 26 October 2021; Vol. 702, c. 241.]

[P002694]

Observations from the Minister of State, Department for Transport (Chris Heaton-Harris):

Thank you for your petition regarding rail electrification to Hull.

We expect electrification to play an important part in the Government’s commitment to decarbonise rail as part of our target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as set out in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan. We also recognise that investment in Hull and providing opportunities for the people and businesses of Hull remains an important consideration to the success of the Northern economy and supporting the levelling up agenda.

The electrification of rail routes to Hull were considered as part of the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) programme. The Government’s Integrated Rail Plan identified a core pipeline of schemes, and any further schemes, including Hull upgrades and electrification, will be subject to affordability, delivering commitments on time and to budget, and complementary investments being made.

The Government agree that any future development of rail routes to Hull should focus on electrification and line speed improvements. Further work could also look at the case for electrifying beyond Hull Station as far as the docks via a 15 km single track spur off the main line. This would provide an industry benefit as faster freight trains would improve passenger timetabling on the Leeds-Hull route.

More broadly, Network Rail’s “Hull Area Strategic Study” (https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/long-term-planning), published in February 2020, examined what might be required to accommodate future train services in the Hull Area to support economic growth up to 2043. This study examined potential future passenger and freight growth across Hull, East Yorkshire and North Yorkshire as part of their Continuous Modular Strategic Planning approach to long-term planning.

The Department for Transport will continue to work with industry and local leaders to determine the most effective way to address rail capacity and performance issues in and around Hull.