Transport Questions House of Commons


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Transport Questions

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debate of the battle of Passchendaele. I will have a

:00:00.:00:00.

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

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

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

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

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her success yesterday. The department has given two schemes the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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consideration, depending on connectivity either end. I agree

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

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

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

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

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infrastructure projects in Dorset are a priority for this government?

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

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for those parts of the strategic road network that runs through

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

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

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

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

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suited to. The Metro is well past its 35 year

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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providing a substantial contribution towards the south Wales Metro and I

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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infrastructure investment between London and the North East resulting

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

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

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

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manifesto our commitment to the Northern Powerhouse rell. I am

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

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benefits for her constituency will be new express trains on being

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

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campaigners to get the electrification of the railway in

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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talking about opposing a scheme that will deliver capacity improvements

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

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link Birmingham and Manchester, Birmingham and Nottingham,

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

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difference economically to the areas he represents.

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Question number two. My department is working closely with other

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departments including the Home Office to ensure that ports,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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is having. EU nationals are processed quickly using scanning

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

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

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all the time about exit arrangements. We had a committee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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not already seen this government was much shocking acceptance by

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condoning the leasing of Qatar airlines. The substitute Chris and

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

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

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

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were confident they were safe airlines to fly with.

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

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

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government seeks to make cycling and walking the natural choices for

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

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April this year we passed the first ever investment strategy for

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

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

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

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

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and small tracks linking green spaces together. They are pleasant

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

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

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

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what discussions he had with technology platforms to make this

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

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

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

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Local authorities in the first instance are best placed to use

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their knowledge and understanding of local networks as well as tourist

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

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there have not yet been any discussions with the electronic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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discussions about promoting cycling and walking networks in new

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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State is announcing more delays to the great Western mainline

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electrification programme. My constituency in Gower are fed up

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with the content the Government shows regarding investment. Can the

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

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

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

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

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

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generation trains providing much better journeys into London, exactly

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

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

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

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

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

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Conservative Secretary of State announced the electrification of the

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

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

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

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

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foremost we are delivering better journeys for passengers. I am

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

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other parts of south Wales with an immediate improvement in journeys

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

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

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

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

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

:17:58.:18:02.

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

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

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need quite the same approval a station seeking public funding would

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Government commitments to take account of the balance of spending

:18:52.:18:54.

per head on infrastructure between different regions. The honourable

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lady will be familiar with the transport and investment strategy,

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

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

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assure her that how projects contribute to a more balanced

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

:19:19.:19:25.

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

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

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

:19:36.:19:40.

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

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

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

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

:19:56.:20:02.

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

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

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typically churlish. Supporting growth and jobs across the country.

:20:18.:20:22.

That includes the 15 billion committed in the first investment

:20:23.:20:27.

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

:20:28.:20:31.

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

:20:32.:20:38.

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

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

:20:43.:20:48.

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

:20:49.:20:54.

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

:20:55.:20:59.

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

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

:21:02.:21:08.

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

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

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

:21:18.:21:21.

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

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

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

:21:30.:21:36.

dispute the need for investment in transport infrastructure across the

:21:37.:21:38.

country but the fact remains promised investment in London, for

:21:39.:21:43.

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

:21:44.:21:49.

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

:21:50.:21:53.

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

:21:54.:22:01.

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

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

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

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urgent priorities is to resurface the A180, removing the concrete

:22:25.:22:29.

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

:22:30.:22:33.

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

:22:34.:22:37.

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

:22:38.:22:45.

was pleased to visit his constituency and unveil the new road

:22:46.:22:52.

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

:22:53.:22:56.

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

:22:57.:23:02.

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

:23:03.:23:05.

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

:23:06.:23:10.

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

:23:11.:23:13.

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

:23:14.:23:21.

main line between London and the North needs infrastructure

:23:22.:23:22.

investments to end the disruption caused by antique overhead power

:23:23.:23:29.

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

:23:30.:23:34.

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

:23:35.:23:39.

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

:23:40.:23:45.

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

:23:46.:23:49.

capacity, reduced journey times and more reliable services. Rachel

:23:50.:23:55.

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

:23:56.:23:59.

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

:24:00.:24:03.

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

:24:04.:24:07.

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

:24:08.:24:11.

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

:24:12.:24:17.

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

:24:18.:24:22.

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

:24:23.:24:27.

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

:24:28.:24:31.

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

:24:32.:24:38.

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

:24:39.:24:47.

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

:24:48.:24:50.

there. Getting there is a fundamental requirement of any

:24:51.:24:59.

journey. Could there be a less ambitious objective than merely

:25:00.:25:04.

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

:25:05.:25:07.

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

:25:08.:25:12.

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

:25:13.:25:21.

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

:25:22.:25:23.

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

:25:24.:25:28.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge featured in the answer provided by the

:25:29.:25:31.

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

:25:32.:25:38.

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

:25:39.:25:42.

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

:25:43.:25:46.

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

:25:47.:25:52.

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

:25:53.:25:58.

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

:25:59.:26:05.

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

:26:06.:26:09.

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

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

:26:14.:26:22.

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

:26:23.:26:25.

putting the investment in the infrastructure there in the first

:26:26.:26:30.

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

:26:31.:26:33.

district Council, which cannot go on accepting this volume of

:26:34.:26:37.

house-building without a significant investment in these major

:26:38.:26:37.

bottlenecks on the road. My right honourable friend has made

:26:38.:26:51.

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

:26:52.:26:58.

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

:26:59.:27:01.

infrastructure that new housing developments require that should be

:27:02.:27:06.

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

:27:07.:27:09.

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

:27:10.:27:18.

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

:27:19.:27:27.

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

:27:28.:27:32.

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

:27:33.:27:41.

considerably improved if they could divert money from the ever deepening

:27:42.:27:48.

bottomless pit of HS2 and therefore enable those projects to move

:27:49.:27:53.

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

:27:54.:27:57.

calling for a reassessment of this increasingly troubled scheme? Mr

:27:58.:28:03.

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

:28:04.:28:08.

honourable gentleman to proceed with the question so evidently unrelated

:28:09.:28:13.

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

:28:14.:28:19.

of the constituency or area concerned. The answer to his

:28:20.:28:25.

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

:28:26.:28:34.

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

:28:35.:28:40.

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

:28:41.:28:51.

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

:28:52.:28:57.

been working with the industry, regulators and consumer groups

:28:58.:29:05.

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

:29:06.:29:10.

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

:29:11.:29:17.

transparent ticketing system, government should step in major

:29:18.:29:19.

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

:29:20.:29:31.

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

:29:32.:29:43.

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

:29:44.:29:47.

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

:29:48.:29:51.

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

:29:52.:29:55.

residents and visitors and will clear things up for visitors,

:29:56.:30:00.

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

:30:01.:30:13.

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

:30:14.:30:20.

ticketing, the various ticket medias enhance the possibility for

:30:21.:30:26.

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

:30:27.:30:32.

vision a bigger reality with technological changes. The ticketing

:30:33.:30:39.

information passengers are most interested in is the price. Since

:30:40.:30:42.

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

:30:43.:30:47.

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

:30:48.:30:53.

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

:30:54.:30:57.

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

:30:58.:31:04.

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

:31:05.:31:09.

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

:31:10.:31:13.

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

:31:14.:31:26.

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

:31:27.:31:32.

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

:31:33.:31:39.

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

:31:40.:31:46.

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

:31:47.:32:01.

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

:32:02.:32:07.

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

:32:08.:32:12.

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

:32:13.:32:18.

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

:32:19.:32:32.

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

:32:33.:32:39.

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

:32:40.:32:52.

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

:32:53.:32:58.

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

:32:59.:33:07.

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

:33:08.:33:16.

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

:33:17.:33:20.

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

:33:21.:33:30.

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

:33:31.:33:39.

constituency produced the first refuelling station which limits the

:33:40.:33:43.

release of methane into the atmosphere with significant cost

:33:44.:33:47.

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

:33:48.:33:53.

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

:33:54.:34:00.

company and other partners in this project to discuss this matter

:34:01.:34:06.

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

:34:07.:34:18.

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

:34:19.:34:24.

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

:34:25.:34:31.

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

:34:32.:34:36.

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

:34:37.:34:43.

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

:34:44.:34:47.

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

:34:48.:34:50.

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

:34:51.:35:03.

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

:35:04.:35:08.

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

:35:09.:35:13.

issue of toad trailer safety following the tragic death of

:35:14.:35:18.

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

:35:19.:35:25.

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

:35:26.:35:33.

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

:35:34.:35:36.

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

:35:37.:35:40.

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

:35:41.:35:44.

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

:35:45.:35:51.

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

:35:52.:35:57.

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

:35:58.:36:04.

support to a new safety initiative which will see member organisations

:36:05.:36:08.

across the country offering free towing safety checks to members of

:36:09.:36:15.

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

:36:16.:36:20.

important initiative in the house and that the national trailer towing

:36:21.:36:25.

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

:36:26.:36:30.

participating service centres and get a provisional report an

:36:31.:36:34.

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

:36:35.:36:43.

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

:36:44.:36:46.

the fact that they and other organisations are working closely

:36:47.:37:02.

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

:37:03.:37:04.

passengers across the North of England. We are progressing

:37:05.:37:11.

priorities for investment in new stations and upgraded

:37:12.:37:15.

infrastructure. I would like to impress upon the Minister the

:37:16.:37:19.

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

:37:20.:37:24.

Link. Populations are expanding, businesses are increasing, there

:37:25.:37:29.

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

:37:30.:37:35.

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

:37:36.:37:39.

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

:37:40.:37:46.

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

:37:47.:37:57.

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

:37:58.:38:02.

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

:38:03.:38:11.

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

:38:12.:38:19.

great deal bid which includes rail improvements which the Chancellor

:38:20.:38:22.

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

:38:23.:38:30.

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

:38:31.:38:36.

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

:38:37.:38:49.

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

:38:50.:38:56.

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

:38:57.:39:00.

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

:39:01.:39:09.

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

:39:10.:39:16.

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

:39:17.:39:22.

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

:39:23.:39:26.

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

:39:27.:39:35.

carefully at the relevant regional transport figures and what they do

:39:36.:39:39.

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

:39:40.:39:52.

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

:39:53.:40:03.

are in discussion with Nexus and Tyne Wear Metro regarding the

:40:04.:40:10.

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

:40:11.:40:15.

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

:40:16.:40:21.

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

:40:22.:40:29.

investment strategy published in 2014 and now is the scheme to

:40:30.:40:32.

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

:40:33.:40:38.

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

:40:39.:40:44.

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

:40:45.:40:47.

scheme will have key information about the proposals with supporting

:40:48.:40:55.

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

:40:56.:41:00.

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

:41:01.:41:04.

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

:41:05.:41:09.

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

:41:10.:41:12.

dedicated to the Worthing lancing section will be inadequate in

:41:13.:41:19.

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

:41:20.:41:24.

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

:41:25.:41:28.

consider looking at the more expensive option? We recognise that

:41:29.:41:37.

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

:41:38.:41:40.

very closely at any further proposals he wishes to make.

:41:41.:41:48.

Just because the king of Spain visit yesterday and the honourable

:41:49.:41:55.

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

:41:56.:41:58.

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

:41:59.:42:05.

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

:42:06.:42:08.

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

:42:09.:42:14.

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

:42:15.:42:17.

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

:42:18.:42:21.

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

:42:22.:42:26.

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

:42:27.:42:30.

responded heroically and they deserve our thanks. I thought you

:42:31.:42:34.

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

:42:35.:42:41.

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

:42:42.:42:45.

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

:42:46.:42:50.

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

:42:51.:42:57.

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

:42:58.:43:04.

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

:43:05.:43:08.

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

:43:09.:43:14.

between the honourable gentleman and the Labour Party in south Wales

:43:15.:43:18.

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

:43:19.:43:21.

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

:43:22.:43:24.

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

:43:25.:43:28.

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

:43:29.:43:34.

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

:43:35.:43:36.

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

:43:37.:43:43.

constituency and by the local economy is delivered and neither can

:43:44.:43:45.

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

:43:46.:43:50.

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

:43:51.:43:54.

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

:43:55.:44:00.

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

:44:01.:44:03.

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

:44:04.:44:12.

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

:44:13.:44:17.

about Southern Rail claims that its appalling service was not their

:44:18.:44:19.

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

:44:20.:44:24.

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

:44:25.:44:30.

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

:44:31.:44:34.

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

:44:35.:44:39.

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

:44:40.:44:44.

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

:44:45.:44:47.

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

:44:48.:44:55.

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

:44:56.:45:02.

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

:45:03.:45:05.

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

:45:06.:45:12.

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

:45:13.:45:15.

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

:45:16.:45:19.

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

:45:20.:45:23.

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

:45:24.:45:26.

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

:45:27.:45:33.

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

:45:34.:45:37.

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

:45:38.:45:43.

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

:45:44.:45:47.

reconsider the entitlement of front bench members to come in,

:45:48.:45:53.

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

:45:54.:45:59.

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

:46:00.:46:03.

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

:46:04.:46:12.

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

:46:13.:46:16.

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

:46:17.:46:22.

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

:46:23.:46:25.

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

:46:26.:46:31.

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

:46:32.:46:37.

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

:46:38.:46:42.

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

:46:43.:46:46.

commercial rail service between Swanage and Wareham in my

:46:47.:46:48.

constituency thanks to the dedication and hard work of

:46:49.:46:51.

volunteers and members of the Swanage Railway. What assurance can

:46:52.:46:57.

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

:46:58.:47:01.

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

:47:02.:47:05.

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

:47:06.:47:09.

to hear reports of where heritage rail can work with mainline

:47:10.:47:12.

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

:47:13.:47:17.

to build a more franchise agreements, whether we can bring

:47:18.:47:20.

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

:47:21.:47:27.

plans were published to expand the Tyne Wear Metro. Including

:47:28.:47:34.

expanding it to Washington in my constituency. Will the Minister

:47:35.:47:38.

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

:47:39.:47:42.

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

:47:43.:47:48.

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

:47:49.:47:51.

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

:47:52.:47:56.

Part of that is about improving stations, ticketing and rolling

:47:57.:48:03.

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

:48:04.:48:08.

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

:48:09.:48:11.

articulate that among the other things we should doubtless discuss.

:48:12.:48:17.

Clearing traffic and air pollution are the public health concerns for

:48:18.:48:20.

those living and working in my constituency. Under this government

:48:21.:48:24.

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

:48:25.:48:30.

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

:48:31.:48:34.

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

:48:35.:48:40.

commitment to fund bypasses in my constituency to tackle air

:48:41.:48:46.

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

:48:47.:48:50.

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

:48:51.:48:54.

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

:48:55.:48:59.

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

:49:00.:49:04.

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

:49:05.:49:11.

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

:49:12.:49:16.

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

:49:17.:49:19.

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

:49:20.:49:26.

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

:49:27.:49:30.

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

:49:31.:49:35.

equally been occasions as to the procurement of railway carriages for

:49:36.:49:40.

the East Coast Main line and the great Western mainline whether

:49:41.:49:42.

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

:49:43.:49:47.

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

:49:48.:49:50.

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

:49:51.:49:58.

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

:49:59.:50:04.

there are opportunities for associated businesses around the

:50:05.:50:08.

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

:50:09.:50:14.

how we can use expanding business around successful regional airports?

:50:15.:50:20.

Making sure regional airports are successful is really important. We

:50:21.:50:25.

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

:50:26.:50:30.

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

:50:31.:50:34.

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

:50:35.:50:37.

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

:50:38.:50:42.

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

:50:43.:50:47.

Hardly any flowery words from the Government benches about

:50:48.:50:51.

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

:50:52.:50:55.

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

:50:56.:50:59.

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

:51:00.:51:05.

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

:51:06.:51:10.

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

:51:11.:51:16.

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

:51:17.:51:21.

We are undertaking a major programme of structure renewal, refurbishing

:51:22.:51:26.

most of the vehicles, modernising 45 stations, introducing smart

:51:27.:51:30.

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

:51:31.:51:40.

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

:51:41.:51:45.

But Chelmsford commuters had experienced frequent and significant

:51:46.:51:50.

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

:51:51.:51:56.

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

:51:57.:52:02.

experienced by her constituents the very hot weather does impact

:52:03.:52:06.

reliability. Speed restrictions to protect overhead equipment. I have

:52:07.:52:09.

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

:52:10.:52:12.

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

:52:13.:52:18.

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

:52:19.:52:23.

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

:52:24.:52:28.

to confirm whether electrification of the great Western line into the

:52:29.:52:32.

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

:52:33.:52:37.

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

:52:38.:52:43.

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

:52:44.:52:49.

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

:52:50.:52:54.

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

:52:55.:52:58.

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

:52:59.:53:01.

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

:53:02.:53:07.

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

:53:08.:53:11.

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

:53:12.:53:16.

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

:53:17.:53:19.

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

:53:20.:53:26.

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

:53:27.:53:31.

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

:53:32.:53:34.

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

:53:35.:53:40.

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

:53:41.:53:44.

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

:53:45.:53:47.

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

:53:48.:53:54.

support the need for the capacity improvements crossrail two will

:53:55.:53:58.

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

:53:59.:54:02.

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

:54:03.:54:05.

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

:54:06.:54:10.

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

:54:11.:54:17.

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

:54:18.:54:23.

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

:54:24.:54:28.

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

:54:29.:54:34.

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

:54:35.:54:37.

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

:54:38.:54:40.

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

:54:41.:54:45.

Transport Secretary will outline his plans for rail investment in the

:54:46.:54:48.

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

:54:49.:54:52.

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

:54:53.:54:56.

completely dropped. Keeping promises are important. Will the Minister

:54:57.:55:01.

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

:55:02.:55:06.

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

:55:07.:55:11.

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

:55:12.:55:20.

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

:55:21.:55:23.

in Saint Austell who have recently replaced all 14 vehicles with

:55:24.:55:28.

electric vehicles and are being hailed as the greenest taxi company

:55:29.:55:32.

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

:55:33.:55:37.

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

:55:38.:55:43.

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

:55:44.:55:47.

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

:55:48.:55:52.

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

:55:53.:56:01.

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

:56:02.:56:06.

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

:56:07.:56:14.

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

:56:15.:56:18.

approve the statutory instrument relating to international immunity

:56:19.:56:22.

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

:56:23.:56:25.

of candidates and the public in the general election campaign.

:56:26.:56:40.

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

:56:41.:56:45.

new Parliamentary Commissioner for standards followed by a general

:56:46.:56:48.

debate on matters to be

:56:49.:56:49.