Public to bid on new rail fund

Customers and communities along the new Virgin Trains East Coast network will be able to bid for a share of a £3m innovation fund to be used for projects suggested by those same communities.

This money is available in addition to the £140m already committed to the franchise by the Stagecoach/Virgin partnership that took over the franchise on the main east coast route on Sunday.

Claire Perry, Transport Minister, said: “This is the start of a new chapter for the East Coast franchise. Passengers will benefit from thousands of extra seats, new connections and improved services between London and Scotland. The deal also means more than £3bn will be returned to taxpayers.

She added: “We are investing record amounts in building a world-class railway as part of our long-term economic plan.”