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SRA launches five projects

THE STRATEGIC Rail Authority this week marked the shedding of its shadow tag by announcing five projects to develop the network.

But there was criticism over delays in publishing its Strategic Agenda, originally due last year, and now scheduled for the end of this month.

Under a section of the 2000 Transport Act which came into force last week, the SRA assumed responsibility for the promotion, development and strategic direction of the UK's rail network.

This includes funnelling nearly £30bn of Government money into the industry by 2011. Its role is to represent the public interest, including sponsoring the Rail Passengers Council.

Chairman Sir Alastair Morton, said the Strategic Agenda would not be 'instructions telling people what to do'.

He said it had been delayed by the Regulatory Review, and then by the Hatfield crash.

The five schemes announced include the next stage of the East London line; development of projects to upgrade freight lines from Felixtowe and Southampton; reopening the Vale of Glamorgan line to passengers, an interchange project at Haverfordwest and a new station at Corsham in Wiltshire.

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