Rail Franchising

Part of NHS Winter Crisis – in the House of Commons at 4:44 pm on 10th January 2018.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Secretary of State for Transport 4:44 pm, 10th January 2018

From a sedentary position, the hon. Gentleman talks about dirty diesel. What we are now seeing is the arrival of new technologies that will transform the way our railways work. We will soon see hydrogen trains. The new generation of trains—hybrid trains—is much cleaner than its predecessors. New technology is giving us extra versatility.

Many Members want to speak, so I shall conclude. Today, I am afraid that we have heard from Labour Members a position based on sand. They want lower fare rises, but will not tell us how those will be paid for because their numbers do not add up. The irony is that in London, where Labour is in power, the fares are going up by more than fares in the rest of the country. By contrast, we are addressing the real problems on the rail network. We are providing the investment that the railways need.

Somebody mentioned disruptions over Christmas. Yes, I know passengers had a disrupted time. The reason for that is that we are spending billions of pounds across the country. At some point, the work has to be done. Those people who walk into London Bridge station in the mornings, as well as those people up in the north-west where improvements are happening and people elsewhere across the country, will now see new facilities—broader facilities, expanded facilities—that will make a real difference to passengers.