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Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:23 pm on 17th July 2017.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Secretary of State for Transport 10:23 pm, 17th July 2017

The first thing to say is that we have taken a lot of care to try to put mitigation measures in place, and the movement of the depot from Crofton is a case in point. I have looked to try to change the configuration of the route around Barnburgh, and I have been up there myself to look at the locations. I am sure that the right hon. Lady will make further representations to the Committee that considers the Bill. If she looks at the challenges facing the rail network in the north, she will see that it is not about the lines that have lots of stations; it is about the fact that the links between our major cities are caught up by slow trains. A fast train from Leeds to Manchester across the Pennines is not possible because of all the stations in between, and councils and representatives in the north have been calling for better, faster links between our northern cities, and this project will do that job between Sheffield and Leeds. One reason why I am attracted to the link between Sheffield city centre and Leeds city centre is to provide fast connections between the two.