Colchester-London Line

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st November 1994.

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Photo of Bernard Jenkin Bernard Jenkin , Colchester North 12:00 am, 21st November 1994

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent investment there has been on the line between Colchester and London and on rolling stock for that line.

Photo of Mr John Watts Mr John Watts , Slough

The line between Colchester and London is currently undergoing a programme of resignalling and of track and station improvements which is due for completion in 1997. New class 321 rolling stock was introduced on the line in 1990.

Photo of Bernard Jenkin Bernard Jenkin , Colchester North

Let me tell my hon. Friend how much his announcement will be welcomed, given that again this morning commuters were subjected to completely unacceptable delays due to a train failure between Whitham and Hatfield Peverel. Can he give a reassurance that performance on the line is improving? Is it not the case that when Railtrack is privatised, private investment can be attracted to improve the line's infrastructure?

Photo of Mr John Watts Mr John Watts , Slough

Investment in the line is designed in part to improve reliability. In 1992, the charter punctuality standard for Great Eastern was 86 per cent., and that was raised to 88 per cent. for the current year. The average for the past year was 89.7 per cent.