London to Midlands Rail Link

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 2:35 pm on 29th November 1993.

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Photo of Mr Jeff Rooker Mr Jeff Rooker , Birmingham, Perry Barr 2:35 pm, 29th November 1993

Does the right hon. Gentleman understand the importance of that line to west midlands manufacturing and to all the constituencies there, including yours, Madam Speaker? Does he also understand that the signalling belongs to the last century, trains regularly have to slow down to 20 mph, it is faster to get from London to York than it is to get from London to Wolverhampton, and that it is a disgrace that even the public and private sectors, meeting in Birmingham today, which want to put forward joint schemes, see the opportunities diminishing as the Government stick to their dogmatic policies?

The line needs upgrading, and if the Secretary of State wants to win any support for himself, to show firm support for manufacturing, and to prove that not all the infrastructure goes to the south-east, he must come forward quickly, rather than shovelling the matter off to one list of consultants after another.