Transport Questions House of Commons

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Transport Questions

Live coverage of questions in the House of Commons to transport secretary Chris Grayling and his ministerial team.

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debate of the battle of Passchendaele. I will have a


round-up of the day in Parliament tonight, but first, Chris Gayle in


-- Chris Grayling. Questions to be Secretary of State for Transport.


Before I respond, can I welcome the new members of the Labour front


bench and also congratulate the new chair of the transport committee on


her success yesterday. The department has given two schemes the


go-ahead. We are looking at the coast to approve up to you four more


and funding of 30 more schemes will be considered in the future. We


announced the creation of a major road network which will allow a


greater number of road improvement projects to come forward. Details of


that will be consulted upon later this year. Should be read in my


constituency that is used as a film set, should it be opened? And what


would the Department do about it? Having walked the road to nowhere, I


agree that it would be better if they were genuine motorists and not


just those taking part in soap operas. Through the growth fund we


supply funds for schemes like that and it might be eligible for


consideration, depending on connectivity either end. I agree


that it would be better if it was opened to motorists. Dorset is a


wonderful place to live, work and visit, but our roads in Dorset


become congested, especially in the summer months. What assurances can


the Secretary of State give to me and my constituents that major


infrastructure projects in Dorset are a priority for this government?


There are two ways in which I hope we can deliver support. First of all


for those parts of the strategic road network that runs through


Dorsett, high with England is looking at what the next generation


of projects should be. Also the creation of the major road network


and the creation of more bypasses which will play an important role in


counties like Dorset where there is through traffic that the town is not


suited to. The Metro is well past its 35 year


design existence. Is this secretary of state aware of this situation and


can he tell us when he will provide the funds to replace the fleet.


First of all, can I congratulate the honourable gentleman to his


re-election to the backbench committee. I am aware of the issue


and I understand the importance of the Metro and the Newcastle area. My


department is looking carefully at what the best options are for the


future. I understand the need to make change so that the Metro can


continue to serve people. But this Secretary of State commit to


providing a comprehensive package for the South Wales Metro? We are


providing a substantial contribution towards the south Wales Metro and I


have extended an offer to the Welsh government to enable them to take


over the infrastructure so it can run an integrated service. I will


weight with interest to see what they bring forward. Since Crossrail


and the Thames link upgrade work proposed, does he welcomed the fact


that it is a Conservative government that has been behind the completion?


I am excited about Crossrail. It is the biggest engineering project of


its kind in Europe and I hope we can build on that expertise for UK plc


to win contracts internationally. Thames Link when it opens next year


will make a real difference to passengers in the north and South.


Could he tell me what he intends to do about the terrible transport


infrastructure investment between London and the North East resulting


in ?1943 being spent in London. People in North West Durham are


important as well. The balance between regions will depend on what


projects are happening at the time. She will have seen from our


manifesto our commitment to the Northern Powerhouse rell. I am


waiting to recommendations about what form it should take. The other


benefits for her constituency will be new express trains on being


north-east line. Would the Secretary of State meet with me and local


campaigners to get the electrification of the railway in


Wilton on track? I am happy to meet my honourable friend. I recognise


the issue. There is the private sector proposal that I said we will


look at to create BML too. We need to look at what is the best future


for the route and I am happy to meet her. Why doesn't the Secretary of


State for Transport tell his friends that some of these so-called


projects are pie in the sky from a government that has already


committed to spending more than ?80 billion on the HS2 in which there is


going to be to track through Derbyshire. Not one, too. One is


slow track, one a fast track. Why doesn't he get real and understand


there should be a reassessment of HS2. He only has a tiny majority and


believe me there are a lot of people on both sides of this house who are


fed up of the idea of spending money in the far distant future for a when


there's all these projects on the order paper today where they need


action. Mr Speaker, all I can say is I am very surprised that he is


talking about opposing a scheme that will deliver capacity improvements


and Jenny improvements between the great cities of the zero that will


link Birmingham and Manchester, Birmingham and Nottingham,


Birmingham at Sheffield, Birmingham and Leeds and it will make a


difference economically to the areas he represents.


Question number two. My department is working closely with other


departments including the Home Office to ensure that ports,


airports and other transport hubs are prepared for when we leave the


European Union. We do know that Brexit will mean profound challenges


at airports and ports, but there should be a 200% increase for border


security, but we have seen a 15% cut. How can we make sure that we


have passenger safety after Brexit? Our ambition after Brexit is to have


borders that function in as close to the current way as possible. What we


don't want to do is deter tourists and business people from coming into


the country. Having a managed migration system does not mean that


you have two create barriers to tourists. The Secretary of State did


not provide any substance in his answer in terms of the discussion he


is having. EU nationals are processed quickly using scanning


processes. The EU is planning a Visa system for non-EU citizens. What


will be the impact of that when the UK leads the EU? We have discussions


all the time about exit arrangements. We had a committee


meeting to that effect yesterday. It is not our intention or desire to


direct barriers at the Borders. We are investing in automated gates to


speed the flow through our borders and will continue to do things like


that. The open skies agreement is important in reaching airports such


as Prestwick in my constituency. The PM said that she had discussions


about this this week, but can the secretary of state confirm that we


will remain a member of the open skies? I am confident that after we


have left the European Union there will be an open skies agreement with


the United States. I've had discussions with my US counterparts.


There is a desire that arrangements remain as they are at the moment.


Can the Minister clarify that on our leaving the EU we will remain


members of... Obviously the detail that has come out of the


negotiations, we want to collaborate with our European partners on safety


issues, as we want to do with other organisations around the world. I


see nothing to suggest that will change after we have left. Have we


not already seen this government was much shocking acceptance by


condoning the leasing of Qatar airlines. The substitute Chris and


they are not subject to the same space base -- safety standards. All


other airlines that operate in and out of the UK are subject to these


same safety checks. They would not be able to use UK airports if we


were confident they were safe airlines to fly with.


Lord Russell Moyle? Not here. I hope he is all right. We will move on.


Rachel Maclean. Number four, Mr Speaker. Thank you, Mr Speaker. The


government seeks to make cycling and walking the natural choices for


people for short journeys or indeed as part of a longer journey. In


April this year we passed the first ever investment strategy for


England. It sets out plans for increasing cycling and walking and


identifies ?1.2 billion of funding which may be invested until 2021.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank my honourable friend for his remarks.


In my constituency of Redditch there are many foot baths, cut through 's


and small tracks linking green spaces together. They are pleasant


for residents to make use of their leisure time. But they are not


always visible on platforms such as Google maps. We would like to


encourage health and well-being in our constituency. Can he confirm


what discussions he had with technology platforms to make this


more assessable to local residents? I thank the honourable lady for her


questions. I share her delight in these informal pathways of which we


have an enormous number in Herefordshire, as she might imagine.


Local authorities in the first instance are best placed to use


their knowledge and understanding of local networks as well as tourist


agencies and some local map providers. But from my point of view


there have not yet been any discussions with the electronic


mapping services. But I do take the point and have already made plans to


meet with some of them in order to take forward this agenda. Thank you,


Mr Speaker. You will know on the roads every year there are many


cyclists who are killed and injured. In my constituency, we had one


person killed this week and two injured. At the same time we want to


look at the issue of how to improve cycling and we have had discussions,


can I ask what discussions he has had with the health Department to


make sure there is more exercise but at the same time keep safe on the


roads? I recognise the problem he raises. I have personally not had


any discussions of the kind he describes. But the gum is making


significant investment in improving safety for cyclists. -- government.


It also improves cycle facilities and cycle lanes and the like and


that will be the continuous part of a programme in the following years.


Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can he reassure me he is having regular


discussions about promoting cycling and walking networks in new


developments? We have a big opportunity in Taunton Deane now we


have the garden town status. And I know constituents would like to link


up with Saint Luke and fits Warren and if the Minister could help with


some money to unlock that, would he agree to meet with me to discuss it?


Nothing... As a keen cyclist, I look forward to meeting her and


discussing bad. There are plenty of pots of money potentially available.


-- discussing this. We have been discussing this notably on the local


growth fund. Number five, Mr Speaker. I congratulate the


honourable lady on her election to this House. The electoral work is


continuing on the Western mainline. The good news for her constituents


and others in south Wales is the next generation of electric trains


arrive in Cardiff and Swansea this autumn. They will provide more


seats, better journey experiences. It is good news for rail users in


south Wales and the West Country. It has been reported the Secretary of


State is announcing more delays to the great Western mainline


electrification programme. My constituency in Gower are fed up


with the content the Government shows regarding investment. Can the


secretary of state confirmed this is going to happen? -- with the


contempt. We need to make Swansea the gateway to West Wales. I


appreciate the importance of transport to Swansea. That is why I


am doing what her constituents would want, to deliver a better journey


experience not in several years, but this autumn. We will have a new


generation trains providing much better journeys into London, exactly


the kind of service her constituents would want and I hope she will be


there to see it and realise what a difference we are going to make to


rail journeys in south Wales and elsewhere. Can I congratulate the


Secretary of State on a moving ahead with the electrification of the


railway line into south Wales and through Swansea? I can remind him a


Conservative Secretary of State announced the electrification of the


railway as far as Swansea and the Labour Party opposite did not


electrify a single inch of the rail lines in Wales to improve the Welsh


economy. If I remember rightly in 13 years they electrified only ten


miles. The important thing is we have got to make sure first and


foremost we are delivering better journeys for passengers. I am


pleased the changes this autumn mean you trains arrive in Swansea and


other parts of south Wales with an immediate improvement in journeys


for passengers. That is what we really want. Thank you, Mr Speaker.


We make the most of the benefits in south Wales, but we need new


stations to make the best of their capacity on the line. With the


Secretary of State agreed the proposal in the east of Cardiff is a


good proposal, backed by the private sector, across parties, the Welsh


government and Cardiff Council? When can we expect a decision on the new


station 's fund? It is an interesting proposal. It does not


need quite the same approval a station seeking public funding would


need. I'm happy for the project to go ahead. The real issue is about


making sure it can work with timetables so trains tan stop and


services can work. Private sector funding projects, I see no reason


why any of us would do anything else other than want to support it is


practical to do it. Number six, Mr Speaker. The Minister of State at


the Department of transport, Minister. It is always a delight to


fall under your gaze. The industrial strategy Green paper set out the


Government commitments to take account of the balance of spending


per head on infrastructure between different regions. The honourable


lady will be familiar with the transport and investment strategy,


published only last week. Which sets out the Government's priorities for


investment, supporting growth right across the country. In future I can


assure her that how projects contribute to a more balanced


economy will be measured and valued in a way that it has never been


before. Diana Johnson. We know London gets ten times the investment


Yorkshire and the Humber does. And while crossrail two has already been


earmarked for ?27 billion, the rail electrification into how has been


scrapped by transport ministers. The A63 upgrade has been delayed. --


into Harle. The Chamber of Commerce said it is concerned about the


downgrading to trans-Pennine 's. We pay our taxes and higher train


fares, so when do we actually get a fair deal for investment in


transport? Mr Speaker, I thought the honourable lady was on typically


churlish, because the Government has committed to regional growth. -- not


typically churlish. Supporting growth and jobs across the country.


That includes the 15 billion committed in the first investment


strategy. She knows these are schemes across the country. South,


east, west and north. But she is right. Let me find common ground.


She is right that her part of the country deserves its place in the


sun. Which is why we must rebalance our investment to reflect local


needs just like hers. Mr Philip Davies. Bradford is one of the


biggest cities in the country and in the last Parliament the Government


was supportive Bradford being a stop on the Northern Powerhouse rail.


Will they make sure the investment is provided to make sure Bradford is


a stop on Northern Powerhouse rail? As he will know, ye has made this


point before, and I know he is championing the interest people in


this regard in Bradford, we are waiting for proposals for transport


for the North. I have no doubt they are ones to which he will probably


contribute. He will make his case to them. We will consider them. I fully


understand the strength of his argument. Heidi Alexander. I do not


dispute the need for investment in transport infrastructure across the


country but the fact remains promised investment in London, for


example extra carriages on south-eastern services, have not yet


materialised. The rail minister on the 30th of March said it would be


happening very soon will stop can we have an update? The rail minister


has made it a priority. And when the Minister makes it a priority it gets


done. Martin Vickers. Thank you, Mr Speaker. He spoke about places in


the sun a minute ago. I am sure he thought Cleethorpes. One of the


urgent priorities is to resurface the A180, removing the concrete


surfaces. Does the Department have any plans to help with that project?


Since he did not answer question three, maybe he could develop the


role of apprentices in major schemes. I am always willing... I


was pleased to visit his constituency and unveil the new road


built there. Part of the strategy. He is right that there is a


challenge associated with the road surface nearby. I did consider it at


the time. The secretary of State has asked to look in greater detail. I


can assure him making sure roads are fit for purpose as well as investing


in new roads is at the heart of all we do. Very grateful to the right


Honourable gentleman. Rachel Maskell. These -- the east coast


main line between London and the North needs infrastructure


investments to end the disruption caused by antique overhead power


line failures. How much does he expect virgin East Coast contribute?


The East Coast Mainline is the line I use regularly. I am very familiar


with the quality of that service. She will know the new express trains


we are using on that mainline by the end of 2018 will offer more


capacity, reduced journey times and more reliable services. Rachel


Maskell. Not only does he not answer the question but he does not know


the amount of the operator has to contribute. But he is digging into


the back pocket of taxpayers to bail out the stagecoach virgin consortium


when two years ago the Government took East Coast out public after


returning ?1 billion to the Treasury. Maybe the minister can


tell us this... How much will be virgin East Coast contract. The


taxpayer? Does he not draw the same conclusion as these benches, that as


you pay for private and make savings from public rail, only a publicly


owned rail can operate in the public interest? My goodness, Mr Speaker.


It is like a journey to a past that never happened. I remember when one


British rail's last and most poignant slogans was, we are getting


there. Getting there is a fundamental requirement of any


journey. Could there be a less ambitious objective than merely


getting there? That is what nationalised railways were like. We


all remember them. They were a disaster. And the cost of


renationalising the railways in the way she recommends would be at least


?19 billion. The ?19 billion the honourable gentleman from Bolsover


would like to spend on all these other schemes. Neither Yates nor


Samuel Taylor Coleridge featured in the answer provided by the


honourable gentleman. Sir Nicholas Soames. I am also going to try to


keep Coleridge at this answer if I may. Mid Sussex will benefit from


the investment of over ?100 billion on local road maintenance and


small-scale transport schemes in West Sussex and the council up to


2021. The county banisters from access to ?304 million of funding in


the same period. -- benefits. Secured from the partnership. Mr


Speaker, Mid Sussex is very much looking forward to his visit in


early September to see these very serious problems we have on the


roads. Will my honourable friend agree that it is rotten government


to go on in pushing housing into constituents like Mid Sussex without


putting the investment in the infrastructure there in the first


place? It is not a matter for the county council but Mid Sussex


district Council, which cannot go on accepting this volume of


house-building without a significant investment in these major


bottlenecks on the road. My right honourable friend has made


his point eloquently. The network we have now is specifically designed to


be part of a wider strategy whose purpose is to provide the


infrastructure that new housing developments require that should be


part the solution for any of these schemes. This question has been


narrowly confined to Mid Sussex, from which the right honourable's


gentleman constituency is a way away. If he is going to focus on Mid


Sussex, we will hear him. Will be Minister accept that the


improvements to be road system to East Sussex... Mid Sussex would be


considerably improved if they could divert money from the ever deepening


bottomless pit of HS2 and therefore enable those projects to move


forward much more quickly? Can I join the member for Bolsover for


calling for a reassessment of this increasingly troubled scheme? Mr


Speaker, it is a mark of your grace that you are able to allow the


honourable gentleman to proceed with the question so evidently unrelated


to the issue. So much so that he wasn't able to make it to the name


of the constituency or area concerned. The answer to his


question, if I may dignify it with an answer is that there will be


plenty of investment. Generosity is my middle name. Minister Paul


Maynard. I will take this with number 14. Passengers are frustrated


about the lack of information they get when purchasing tickets. I have


been working with the industry, regulators and consumer groups


regarding fares and ticketing. We are getting on with delivering the


many proposals contained were in. If rail franchises do not adopt a more


transparent ticketing system, government should step in major


passengers are offered the best value for money? The ticketing is


essential to funding the day-to-day running of the railway. Passengers


should be listened to. Southend has two train lines and multiple


stations within the southern boundary. Wouldn't it be simpler if


the same ticket could be used on both lines? It would be good for


residents and visitors and will clear things up for visitors,


allowing them to do journeys into Southend and pop in somewhere else


on the way back to London. I agree that... The growth in smart


ticketing, the various ticket medias enhance the possibility for


passengers to have the flexibility he refers to. Welcome to make the


vision a bigger reality with technological changes. The ticketing


information passengers are most interested in is the price. Since


2014 commuter rail the increases have been capped at RPI, but in an


answer to me yesterday the rail minister said that fares policy is


under review. Next month is not inflation figures will determine the


capital of January 2018 and if the department reverts to the old


formula, tickets could rise by up to 5%. But the secretary of state


announces his plans next week, will he pledge that the improvements


passengers need will come at a price they can afford? She is starting to


prognosticate about what may or may not happen in the future. We will


not be raising theirs in the way she has talked about. We are always


putting passengers burst. She should not read more into things than is


actually there. Thank you again, Mr Speaker. The eight... Network Rail


are confident work will begin and finish as scheduled. We are in


regular contact with Network Rail in regard to this work. The Northampton


Road railway bridge is located next to the busiest road junction in


Kettering town centre. It will cause major disruption to the town. Can


the Minister tell us whether he is going to instate the half hourly


trains that will go over the new franchise? I have heard his


observations and views on the extra services from Kettering. We will be


launching our consultation soon and we will be thinking about what we do


next on that franchise. Thank you Mr Speaker. The low Carbon trial which


run to 2016 provided over ?11 million to support industry led


trials, alternative fuels, the majority of which use liquefied gas.


I thank the Minister for that answer and the company based in my


constituency produced the first refuelling station which limits the


release of methane into the atmosphere with significant cost


reductions at the process. This is seen as an alternative to diesel for


large HGVs. The forward the Minister commit to meeting with me, the


company and other partners in this project to discuss this matter


further. The short answer is yes, but I don't want to give a short


answer, so let me say this. In her constituency there is a Nissan plant


which I have visited. My visits to her constituency have been too few.


I will meet her and I will meet the company she describes to see what


more we can do. It's obvious the honourable lady is in a state of


overwhelming excitement. So will the people of her constituency when they


realise that they will be privileged with a visit from the right


honourable gentleman, particularly by those who know him. Karen Smith.


Especially, if I say, Mr Speaker, if there is an unveiling to go with it.


I salute the honourable member for the work she has done to raise the


issue of toad trailer safety following the tragic death of


Freddie Hussey. I look forward to meeting with her to discuss the


matter further on the 19th of July. Devious they led a campaign about


safety checks when towing trailers. There are plans to relaunch the


campaign this summer. The government has consulted about the law relating


to causing death by careless and dangerous driving and I look forward


to discussing all these issues would I meet with her. I look forward to


our meeting and I am grateful to the work of his predecessor, as are my


constituents whose son was killed by a loose trailer. Will he offer his


support to a new safety initiative which will see member organisations


across the country offering free towing safety checks to members of


the public? I am delighted the honourable lady has raised this


important initiative in the house and that the national trailer towing


has established a scheme so that people can go to one of the


participating service centres and get a provisional report an


inspection on the trailers. This will assist trailer owners to have


any identified defects rectified. I welcome the initiative and I welcome


the fact that they and other organisations are working closely


with government. Question number 13. We are transforming rail travel for


passengers across the North of England. We are progressing


priorities for investment in new stations and upgraded


infrastructure. I would like to impress upon the Minister the


urgency in getting the mid Cheshire rail link and the airport Western


Link. Populations are expanding, businesses are increasing, there


were tens of thousands of new homes. They cannot be catered for on the


local roads and HS2 will be an answer. But the Minister meet with


me and the mid Cheshire railway users Association? Firstly, can I


welcome her back to a place in this house. I'm all too of reopening the


line to meadow which. I am happy to meet with her and local campaigners.


All local transport authorities need to support projects and I'm sure


that we can work together to make this a reality. There has been a


great deal bid which includes rail improvements which the Chancellor


indicated in his budget would get some support. The Minister indicate


whether there has been any money put to the Department for Transport to


increase and improve the links between crew-macro and North Wales.


-- said two. We are looking out what passengers want in terms of


increased capacity. We are looking forward to doing more work and it


should benefit Cheshire and North Wales. ?1 is spent per person on the


transport infrastructure in cash and the Northwest for every ?7 spent in


London and the South is. Can we have our extra ?6 per person which will


help growth and jobs in the Northwest. We are looking to make


sure we balance our investment across the country. We have looked


carefully at the relevant regional transport figures and what they do


and don't tell us. We could have a lengthy answer that would displease


the speaker -- Mr Speaker. Number 15. Minister of State. My department


are in discussion with Nexus and Tyne Wear Metro regarding the


proposals. The honourable gentleman is a dedicated member, but he


represents a constituency in Sussex. Well done. Very well done. Minister


Jessye Norman. We have got there, Mr Speaker. The ?15 billion road


investment strategy published in 2014 and now is the scheme to


improve the lancing to Worthing section of a 27. A public


consultation will run from the 19th of July to the top of September 20


17. For the 19th of July the highways England website for the


scheme will have key information about the proposals with supporting


information. I am sorry to see the Minister took the wrong turning. I


am pleased to see we have a timetable since I posed this


question. The Minister knows how vital upgrading the 827 is to the


home of West Sussex, but there are concerns that the ?80 million


dedicated to the Worthing lancing section will be inadequate in


comparison to the ?250 million to bypass Aaron door that has only 5000


people. If the consultation shows it is not satisfactory, will he


consider looking at the more expensive option? We recognise that


a 27 is an important corridor across the south coast and we will look


very closely at any further proposals he wishes to make.


Just because the king of Spain visit yesterday and the honourable


gentleman felt it necessary to show off his language skills on that


occasion, there is no need to do so again. We have all seen what


unedifying spectacle it was. Having all three taken part in business


questions you will not be totally surprised by that contribution, I am


sure. Can I on a serious note paid tribute to the offices of the


British Transport Police and the start of Northern Rail for the way


in which they responded to the bomb attack in Manchester? The rail staff


in particular, whose job description this is not in any way part of,


responded heroically and they deserve our thanks. I thought you


might have picked something up from the Queen of Spain yesterday. I


wholly concur... Some Spanish. I concur with what the minister said


about the staff in Manchester. When the season of fruitfulness is upon


us, can I urge to the Rhondda tunnel, which would be a magnificent


tunnel, open to the public for cyclists to go through and a great


tourist attraction, if only his department were handed over to the


local charity and it gave it ?250,000, as well. I know relations


between the honourable gentleman and the Labour Party in south Wales


sometimes can be slightly strained. But I'm sure he will use his


influence on the Welsh government, to whom we have extended the offer


to give the tunnel, and they have not responded. I am waiting for


their response. Maybe he could encourage them to give us a


response. Can I ask them to sit down with the west Yorkshire combined


authority to make sure the Shipley Eastern bypass, badly needed in my


constituency and by the local economy is delivered and neither can


blame each other for lack of progress? I regularly meets the


combined authority and will happily discuss that issue with them. The


creation of the major roads network, the bypass fund, I hope means in


future we can unlock schemes which will make a difference to towns like


Shipley and others around the country. Andy McDonald. Two weeks


ago today the High Court gave the Secretary of State 14 days to decide


about Southern Rail claims that its appalling service was not their


fault but all down to industrial action. With a record fine imposed


today, this nonsense has been blown out of the water by months of the


Secretary of State and his ministers coming to the dispatch box and


blaming the unions. They has to come clean and accept Southern Rail is


not fit for purpose. Does he not accept continuing to tolerate such


ineptitude, expecting a rail service to rely on worker overtime and


compromising safety simply will not wash any longer and he has to call


time on GTR? He is clearly still not read the judgment of two weeks ago


which we have actually won. For months I have said the problems of


this railway are not purely down to industrial action. I am also very


clear, and so was the report, that the prime responsibility for the


trouble on the network in the last months have come from trade unions


fighting the battles of 30 years ago and they still get support from the


Labour Party. In reality the Labour Party and the unions are colluding


to bring trouble to passengers and should stop. Can I say the second


question must be shorter. And the right of the front bench to come in


on topical questions is not sacrosanct. I have to cater to


backbench members. If front bench members take too long I might


reconsider the entitlement of front bench members to come in,


trespassing on backbench time. Please, be brief. A sentence.


Missing appendix nine from the report, can we see it and can the


Minister tell us which claims the accents and those he rejects?


Secretary of State. -- accents. It has been for partial normal


performance of contracts and I have not yet sought to do anything


otherwise. This afternoon we are expecting the result of a ballot for


more strike action for a 23.8% pay rise and a deal already accepted by


the union on the same routes for the same company. This is able to clean


motivated set of threats of action and it should stop the Labour Party


should stop supporting it. For the first time in 45 years there is a


commercial rail service between Swanage and Wareham in my


constituency thanks to the dedication and hard work of


volunteers and members of the Swanage Railway. What assurance can


he give he will support the rail heritage and ensure this trial


becomes a permanent success? I am pleased to hear of what is happening


on the Swanage Railway. I have met with rail heritage. Always pleased


to hear reports of where heritage rail can work with mainline


operators. It has to be done safely. I agree with that. Whether we look


to build a more franchise agreements, whether we can bring


that in hand schemes we can then support. Last June 's ambitious


plans were published to expand the Tyne Wear Metro. Including


expanding it to Washington in my constituency. Will the Minister


assure me and my constituency they will act to upgrade this now


crumbling 37-year-old network and make sure the proposed extension


such as to Washington goes ahead? The honourable lady will know the


Government invested a great deal in the mess/ as it rightfully shirt.


Part of that is about improving stations, ticketing and rolling


stock. -- Metro, as it should. I understand her concern about the


extension of the Metro. When I come to her constituency, maybe she can


articulate that among the other things we should doubtless discuss.


Clearing traffic and air pollution are the public health concerns for


those living and working in my constituency. Under this government


is the local economy continues growing and thriving. But it does


affect the maritime industry may be most likely in Hamble Lane were


queueing on that plane is a real problem. Can he outline the


commitment to fund bypasses in my constituency to tackle air


pollution? I think it was Hegel that said nothing worthwhile was a treat


with that passion. She is a passionate advocate of this scheme.


I know it is important to her constituency and it is important for


the port which she was also a champion. We will look at it closely


because we know is vital to make our maritime future as glorious as our


maritime past. Mary Glindon. Can the Minister say whether the new rolling


stock for mercy travel, HS2 and crossrail will be with private or


public finance and why this is the case? There has been a long


tradition in this country under the governance of both sides of a


railway where we lease trains from the private sector. They have


equally been occasions as to the procurement of railway carriages for


the East Coast Main line and the great Western mainline whether


government has stepped in and taken the decision itself. We will look at


what is available for those schemes. For mercy travel, she will have to


talk to the Labour-controlled Mersey Council. -- Murcia travel. We are


obliged to him for dropping in on us. With Southend airport booming


there are opportunities for associated businesses around the


expanding airport. Will the Secretary of State agreed to look at


how we can use expanding business around successful regional airports?


Making sure regional airports are successful is really important. We


both visited Southend some years ago. I'm impressed by what the


airport achieved and how it can drive growth in the area. That


applies across the whole country. That is one of the reasons why


expansion of Heathrow and regional airports is so important. That is


why I hope together to make sure that Southend flourishes, as well.


Hardly any flowery words from the Government benches about


understanding the experience in the north-east, forced to use crumbling


rolling stock on Tyne Wear Metro. Flowery words will not get them to


work on time unless they are matched by investment. Will he now committed


to investing from the public purse in our rolling stock? The honourable


lady should know that investment is of course central to what we want to


achieve. We are investing 317 million through a renewal programme.


We are undertaking a major programme of structure renewal, refurbishing


most of the vehicles, modernising 45 stations, introducing smart


ticketing. What is not to like about that? We come now to Vicky Ford.


Chelmsford is one of the busiest commuter stations in the country.


But Chelmsford commuters had experienced frequent and significant


delays. Can the Minister provide an update on what actions are being


taken to counter the delays? I'm sorry to hear of the delays


experienced by her constituents the very hot weather does impact


reliability. Speed restrictions to protect overhead equipment. I have


met with the industry this week to discuss what lessons can be learned


about repeated periods of hot weather and how we can best protect


infrastructure. I hope the decisions they move on to take improve


reliability. When the Chancellor came to Bristol in May, he refused


to confirm whether electrification of the great Western line into the


city centre would go ahead. Transport Secretary confirm, has it


been deferred as we were told last year -- has it been ditched? I said


earlier we are focused on delivering the service improvement right now.


--? Has it been ditched? There is no secret this project did not go as


well as expected. From this autumn there will be brand-new trains, more


capacity, better service, six trains one out from Bristol into London.


This is really good news for her constituency. Another of my


constituents are very concerned about the high-speed two and the


impact upon them. Especially residents in Aisling who saw me in a


surgery last week. I will not go through every point they raised with


me then but I wonder if the Minister could meet with me to go through


every concern they have. We need to discuss that, I will be more than


happy to discuss that and the HS2 issues about the movement through


her constituency. More than happy to agree to that. When the Conservative


manifesto was published there was no mention of crossrail two. Can the


Minister tell us if it was by accident or design? When does he


plan to make a decision on the business case? Firstly I absolutely


support the need for the capacity improvements crossrail two will


bring to London and outside. Where are working our way through the


business case. I do not think it is any secret that the funding package


has not quite lived up to initial promise. But I want this to work. We


will do everything we can to make it work. Would my honourable friend


agree that in my constituency, part of a world Heritage site, is a great


place to live, apart from the traffic? And we look at a bypass and


a new cycle way to go right up the valley cycle route? Of course we


cannot only look at it but we will be delighted to receive an


application from bypass and I look forward to cycling that section of


the Derwent Valley when I come and visit on future occasions. The


Transport Secretary will outline his plans for rail investment in the


coming days. There is real concern the promised electrification of the


Midland Mainline, the best business case, will be delayed again, or


completely dropped. Keeping promises are important. Will the Minister


Keith Vaz? The promise I will be keeping is the service people want.


-- Will the Minister keep their promises? The capacity improvements


which are needed to make this route fit for purpose is one which will be


done and one for the next century. Will he congratulate the taxi firm


in Saint Austell who have recently replaced all 14 vehicles with


electric vehicles and are being hailed as the greenest taxi company


in the country? Does he agree more companies should follow their


example? Indeed, I was able to visit the new factory in Coventry building


electric London cabs. The future is certainly for low emission vehicles.


That apply to vehicles we might own and also hybrid vehicles and taxis


and I support what he has suggested. Order. Business questions. Valerie


Vaz. Can the leader of the House gave us the forthcoming business?


The leader of the House. Andrea Leadsom. Thank you, Mr Speaker. The


business for next week will be Monday the 17th of July, motion to


approve the statutory instrument relating to international immunity


and privilege, followed by a general debate on the abuse and intimidation


of candidates and the public in the general election campaign.


Thursday the 20th of July a motion relating to the appointment of the


new Parliamentary Commissioner for standards followed by a general


debate on matters to be