The government is due to announce plans for a £9 billion investment in the UK’s railways. More than half of this is to be pumped into existing projects including Thameslink and Crossrail and the rest will be used to fund projects on the East Coast Main Line, in Manchester and in south Wales.
The joint appearance by David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg at a meeting with business leaders will be used as an opportunity to show that the coalition remains united after a weekend which saw a conservative revolt against Lib-Dem plans for reform in the Lords.
It is however unlikely that any investment will be made before the next general election which will be held in 2015. Shadow secretary for transport, Maria Eagle, said that investment in the railways was needed now and could not wait until the next election. RMT general secretary Bob Crow echoed the sentiment by saying that the money needed to be injected now rather than becoming just another empty promise.
Most of the money is likely to come from the taxpayer and some experts fear the projects will lead to a hike in the price of tickets. In January fares are due to increase by three per cent over inflation. They will then increase again at the beginning of 2014.
Mr Cameron said that although there were disagreements within the coalition, they would not be allowed to get in the way of the interests of the nation.