The Economist said:Devolution has played a role in recent re-connections. Many of the new lines are in Scotland, Wales or the big cities, which have control over local transport and can push and finance them. In the English shires no single body oversees the process, says Chris Austin, a rail expert. Greg Clark, the secretary of state for local government, visited Wisbech in March and insisted that money for the line was not dependent on East Anglia accepting devolution. Some locals, wary of having foisted upon them the regional mayor that was a condition of other devolution deals, still worry.
With government money tight, other areas are tapping different sources for the cash to re-open lines. In the south-west, Kilbride, a developer, is putting £11.5m towards a rail link into Plymouth as part of a deal to build 750 new homes at Tavistock.
Britain is not expecting another Dickensian railway boom. Perhaps 700-800 miles of lines closed by Beeching will be restored in total, says Mr Austin. But sometimes small amounts of investment can make a big difference.
Interesting to see such an article in a publication such as The Economist. Plus they come to a distinctly positive conclusion (as above), what do people think 700-800 miles worth of projects potentially look like?