1. ITV Report

Electrification of the Midland Main Line gets the go ahead

Nick Clegg MP and Prime Minister David Cameron Photo: ITV Central

The West Midlands is the venue for the latest cabinet away day today as the coalition puts on a show of unity.

The location for the meeting is a railway maintenance depot at Smethwick in Birmingham. It coincides with the announcement of £9billion pounds of funding for the railways.

The Midland Main Line is to be electrified. It follows a long and sustained campaign by business leaders who welcome today's announcent.

A Midland Mainline Meridien diesel train headIing towards Nottingham Credit: PA

But transport users groups are critical of the costs of funding the investment. Fares are die to rise 3% over the rate of inflation each year for the next three years and campaigners fear ticket prices will soar.

The cabinet meeting was preceded by a number of ministerial visits to the Midlands. Business secretary Vince Cable was in Leicester. Caroline Spelman was in Coventry.

Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg have been keen to put last week's coalition woes over Lords reform behind them.

They hope recent developments for manufacturing growth in the Midlands will put a positive spin on today's events.

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