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South-Eastern Rail Franchise

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:03 pm on 23rd April 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 5:03 pm, 23rd April 2019

The process for the assessment and award of bids is handled away from Ministers and by the content of the bid rather than by the bidder’s name, so these things are handled in a way that is perhaps a little different from that which the hon. Gentleman suggests. I have had a conversation with the Mayor, but not on this issue. He came to the Department for Transport seeking a loan facility of over £2 billion to help with the completion of Crossrail. We were able to help with that. It is of course a loan that will need to be repaid, but the loan has been made and he is, I believe, drawing down on it. He needs to answer some questions about the long-term viability of Transport for London’s finances.

On the performance on the network, of course there is more to be done on every single franchise. I want to make sure that we have services that are on time, every time. Ninety per cent. of trains on this franchise have been on time over the past few months. When I looked at the performance figures earlier today, I saw that it was 97%. But of course nobody wants to have any delays, and that is why this is my top priority.