Northern Rail Timetable Changes

Part of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – in the House of Commons at 3:36 pm on 24th May 2018.

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Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 3:36 pm, 24th May 2018

I congratulate my hon. Friend Mr Wragg on securing this debate and thank my hon. Friends the Members for Crawley (Henry Smith) and for Harrogate and Knaresborough (Andrew Jones) and John Woodcock for their contributions. We have been reminded that this is not just about Northern rail, although it is clearly central in this instance, but is an issue that affects other parts of the country, other parts of the north and parts of the south, too.

My hon. Friend the Member for Hazel Grove has given us an excellent opportunity to discuss the recent timetable changes. The debate is timely because we are still in the lee of the changes, which were launched less than a week ago and which constitute—we are reliably informed—the biggest change to network timetables in at least a generation. My hon. Friend has proved himself a vigorous and effective campaigner in many different areas, and this debate underlines that: it is the last debate before the recess, yet my hon. Friend is here fighting the case for his constituents. I salute him for that. He is doing so even though this issue was raised in the exchanges on yesterday’s urgent question and again in oral questions this morning. There has rightly been a consolidated set of interrogations of the Government, and it is now on the record from every conceivable angle. I appreciate that.