Adam Afriyie, the MP for Windsor, has welcomed the proposed re-opening of several railway routes that were shut down in the 1960s.
The decision by the government to reopen these lines comes amidst a backdrop of a persistent surge in demand since the 1990s due to continuous improvements in rail services as a result of privatisation.
The number of passenger journeys has increased from 800m in the 1990s to over 1.7bn in 2016. Prior to privatisation, the number of passenger journeys had shrunk from over 1bn in 1945. A report in 2013 by the European Commission found that the UK had the 2nd highest satisfaction with rail services in the EU.
The MP for the Windsor constituency, Adam Afriyie welcomed the announcement:
“I am excited about the new life that’s been breathed into our railways, despite the inevitable challenges on some of our lines as demand rises beyond capacity.
“In the 1960s passenger numbers were falling year on year in line with working patterns and population decline and it was right to close the underused lines at the time. Today, passenger numbers have tripled since privatisation, so it is quite right that we should look at expanding the number of routes.
“To reduce the strain on the public purse I very much hope that the Government will focus on getting as much private investment into the new railway proposals as possible and seriously consider innovative and interesting projects like Windsor Link Railway among others.
“We should celebrate this decision as a dividend from the improved services as a result of the privatisation of the 1990s, which has led to a renaissance in the British rail industry.”
Note to editors
- Adam Afriyie is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Ghana.
- He has a strong background in science, technology and innovation.
- He is currently Chairman of the Fintech APPG, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) and President of the Conservative Technology Forum (CTF).
- He was shadow Minister for Science from 2007-2010 and has a background in the information services and technology sector.