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

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. That point is all the more forceful from someone with his experience and terrific track record in the Department, and officials and those in the industry will take it properly seriously.

If we look more widely, the position remains in many ways extremely positive. The Government will have spent more than £13 billion between 2015 and 2020 on improving and modernising transport in various forms across the north. We are building HS2—the first new north-south railway in this country for over a century—and will be providing better journeys through the new Northern and TransPennine Express franchises, albeit once the current disruption has settled. We are also investing well over £1 billion in improvements through the Great North rail project. As has been mentioned, Northern and TransPennine Express trains will be brand new or completely refurbished, and all Pacer trains will be gone. All that is to be welcomed.

Again, I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Hazel Grove and all colleagues for the contributions they have made. Once this present phase has been completed, passengers on Northern rail will benefit significantly through some 1,300 extra services a week and rail users will have many things to be hopeful about for the future—not just brand-new trains but improvements to stations as well to service quality. The Minister of State, my hon. Friend Joseph Johnson, has spoken to the chief executive of Transport for the North and the Mayor of Greater Manchester to underline his and the Department’s commitment to improving performance for passengers. We continue to work closely with rail companies to drive down cancellations, and to support Network Rail and the wider industry in delivering these significant improvements. I suggest that those are all things for which we will ultimately be very grateful.

Question put and agreed to.

House adjourned.