East Midlands Rail Franchise

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:44 am on 11th April 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Vice-Chair, Conservative Party 10:44 am, 11th April 2019

I do not agree with anything my right hon. Friend has just said. That Adjournment debate was very enjoyable; we had many discussions because there were so many interventions. The core of the debate, which was secured by my hon. Friend Will Quince, was about the introduction of the Delay Repay 15 offer for customers, which went live on 1 April and has been widely welcomed by passengers on the line. Indeed, on 1 April, I went to stations in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, and I met passengers, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association and the rail operating company, and the arrival of DR15 was widely welcomed. The key thing that people were looking for was the consistent delivery of a timetable, so the requirement to pay any form of compensation would not be necessary. That is, of course, at the heart of the Government’s CP6—control period 6—investment. We are investing £48 billion over the next five years to modernise and upgrade our railway to make sure that we can deliver the network and services that passengers rightly expect. Is Abellio a failing provider? No.