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 Anna Soubry Anna Soubry Independent, Broxtowe 10:44 am, 11th April 2019

I congratulate Mr Betts on securing this very important question. A large number of people across the east midlands will share his concerns about the granting of this franchise. Stagecoach at least backed the Access for All bid for Beeston station, and it is really unfortunate that the Government have not provided the money to make sure that we have that funding.

There is real concern about rolling stock and Abellio’s ability to provide it. In short, the Minister should know that Stagecoach certainly told me that there would be no new rolling stock. As he will know, we have on this line trains that are 40 years old. There will be no new trains for at least three years. We now need to firm this up. Will he confirm that Abellio will not provide trains for at least four years, or is there any chance that it might be a shorter period?