November government funding for Clapham Junction’s upgrade scheme scrapped

>> Your chance to contribute: tell us what your think on Clapham Junction station redevelopment

Author: Cyril Richert

Following yesterday’s article on Transport funding cut, I forgot to report on the more specific news regarding the scrapping of the millions promised to upgrade the worst stations in Britain.

The report in Railnews.co.uk on the 26th May says:

A £50 million DfT grant intended to upgrade the ten worst stations in Britain following the Station Champions’ report last November has been scrapped as part of the Government’s budget cuts.

The Department for Transport has lost £683 million from its budget for this year, as its share of a £6.2 billion reduction in spending ordered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

At first, the DfT had only outlined the reductions following the Chancellor’s announcement. They include £309 million withdrawn from councils and a proposed cut of £108 million for Transport for London.

Another item on the brief DfT list had been £100 million cut from the grant to Network Rail, and it’s now been revealed that half that sum is the £50 million which had been allocated to station upgrades in November 2009.

However all is not lost for Clapham Junction as, according to the article, Network Rail pointed out that funding is also coming from other sources (Manchester Victoria will still go ahead, for example, because only £5 million of the £30 million to be spent there was coming from the Better Stations fund in any case). Clapham Junction is said to be benefiting from other funding. We have not heard of any of them and I would be curious to know what are the other parts of the £10m funding that was promised.

Obviously it gives me mixed feelings:

  1. Although not welcomed, it is understandable that the new government is cutting first the last minute spending from its predecessor.
  2. When we met with Office of Rail Regulation last November, our discussions were not considering the last minute funding provided by the government, and we were focusing on the next budget period, especially CP5 (2014-19). Although it has to be discussed in line of the proposed funding for these period, the topic still remains.
  3. We were outraged by Network Rail saying, when we met with them in January, there won’t be much allocation for Clapham Junction station in CP5 as it already received a lot currently (pointing out the £50m grant for the 10 worst stations). Hopefully they won’t dare use this argument any more to explain their future allowance to CJ station.
  4. Obviously it does not prevent us to carry on with our consultation, giving an opportunity for local residents to have their say o nthe future of Clapham Junction station. I want to believe that we will receive the same support and encouragement  from our new MP, Jane Ellison, as we did from Martin Linton.
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