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Rail Franchising System: Viability

Part of Transport – in the House of Commons on 12th March 2020.

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Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

First, may I push back on the hon. Lady’s point about safety, which is completely incorrect? That issue is regulated by an independent body, and she is wrong. Since privatisation, we have seen the number of passenger journeys more than double, as well as more services and better trains. Northern Rail’s fleet is now being replaced with new trains, and that will be finished by the end of May. I very much hope that the new system will include a profuse and large group of private companies that want to run services for us.