My Lords, I thank the Minister for that Answer, which shows that it is too late to do anything about the proposed new franchise without withdrawing the franchise process.
Glasgow is a rail market worth 31 million journeys per year, and Edinburgh is worth 13.6 million journeys per year. Why is it a good idea to disconnect Glasgow from 45 railway stations in the south and south-west of England, particularly when we are trying to encourage rail substitution for domestic air services? What advice does the Minister have for rail travellers in Glasgow seeking to go to south-west England? Should they make their way to Edinburgh to change trains, which is quite easy but leads to longer journeys, or should they go to Birmingham New Street, which is awkward, congested and about to be rebuilt? What wisdom is there in this franchise reorganisation?