THE British government has allocated an additional £401m to upgrade the Transpennine main line and improve rail freight links to Southampton.

The Transpennine route upgrade will receive the bulk of the funds - £317m - to electrify the railway between Manchester, Leeds and the East Coast Main Line at Colton Junction, while £69m will be allocated to increase freight capacity between the port of Southampton and the Midlands.

An additional £15m from the government’s new stations fund will be used to build new stations at Marsh Barton in Exeter, and White Rose and Thorpe Park in Leeds.