Reading-Basingstoke Line: Electrification

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st March 2018.

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Photo of Ranil Jayawardena Ranil Jayawardena Conservative, North East Hampshire 12:00 am, 1st March 2018

What assessment he has made of the timescale required for the electrification of the Reading to Basingstoke line.

Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Department for Education) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (Department for Transport), Minister of State (London)

The Secretary of State’s acceptance of the Hendy review in 2016 recognised the necessity of changes to the scope of Great Western electrification. Following completion of a feasibility assessment of the line between Reading and Basingstoke, it has been identified that electrification of that section is not required to deliver improvements to passengers.

Photo of Ranil Jayawardena Ranil Jayawardena Conservative, North East Hampshire

Given my hon. Friend’s commendable plan to scrap all diesel-only trains from our tracks by 2040, would he consider extending Crossrail from Reading to Basingstoke, as an alternative to Great Western, to improve capacity into London from north Hampshire?

Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Department for Education) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (Department for Transport), Minister of State (London)

The Department always welcomes suggestions from my hon. Friend. There are no current plans to extend the Crossrail route, and no assessment has yet been made of the amount or availability of any such scheme.