Is the Minister aware that the Transport Select Committee and BR chairman Bob Reid both recognise that we have the longest hiatus that we have ever had in producing rolling stock and that this year, for the first time since 1948, there has been no budget for new rolling stock? Is that not why jobs are being lost in York, Hunslet and Wakefield and what does the Minister intend to do about it? It is not sufficient to give the pat answers that we have heard today.
UK trains currently on order include Networkers for British Rail, mail trains for the Post Office, Heathrow express and channel tunnel trains and new trains for the Jubilee line and the Northern line. Once the rolling stock companies are privatised, of course, they will have access to the private capital markets and will be able to take a longer-term view of investment needs.
Does my hon. Friend agree that the experience of the bus industry demonstrates clearly that when the private sector becomes involved it invests very heavily in new modern rolling stock? Indeed, in one instance, it has invested more in new vehicles in one year than had been previously been invested in 10 years. That surely demonstrates that the same will happen with the railways because new vehicles cost less to maintain.