According to latest available figures, 13 per cent. of visitors to the north-west staying one night or more travelled by train. Improvements to the west coast main line will encourage greater use by everyone, including tourists.
I am grateful to the Minister for that answer, but what plans does he have for talks with his colleague the Secretary of State for Transport to ensure that such improvements actually take place so that day trippers and overseas visitors using the channel tunnel, other forms of transport and the west coast main line can visit exhibitions such as the Beatles exhibition and the Tate of the north in Liverpool?
Does my hon. Friend agree that the announcement last week that the main channel tunnel terminus for routes to the north will be at St. Pancras will be of enormous benefit to tourism in the north-west, including my constituency and that of the hon. Member for Liverpool, Broadgreen (Mrs. Kennedy)? That is because the links between the north-west main line into Euston and the line from St. Pancras already exist, as was confirmed to me at a meeting as recently as this morning by the senior manager in charge of InterCity services for the north-west.
I know of no one—apart, perhaps, from my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, North (Mr. Elletson)—who is as well informed about Blackpool as my hon. Friend. He has hit the nail on the head. Of course it is true that a night service will run from Paris and Brussels up the west coast main line to Glasgow. There will also be daytime services from Paris and Brussels to Manchester, and a service between Paris and Birmingham. These trains are due to start towards the end of 1995. I understand that British Rail intends to run a connecting service between Manchester and Waterloo, to begin when regular train services commence from London in mid-1994.