Topical Questions

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons on 2nd May 2019.

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Photo of Ian Mearns Ian Mearns Chair, Backbench Business Committee

Ministers will have seen the National Audit Office report on the sale of railway arches by Network Rail, which includes some criticism. It is of some concern that the impact on tenants was not an explicit sale objective and was considered only late in the sale process. Ministers were aware—we had meetings with the Minister responsible before the sale took place—but they seemed indifferent to the significant potential for massive rent rises for the businesses in the railway arches across the country. Given this NAO report and its criticism, what will Ministers now do to safeguard the interests of those businesses and to make sure that they are not subjected to massive rent rises by the new leaseholder management company?