Railways: Cross-country Franchise

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:51 pm on 7th November 2006.

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Photo of Lord Davies of Oldham Lord Davies of Oldham Deputy Chief Whip (House of Lords), HM Household, Captain of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard (HM Household) (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Lords) 2:51 pm, 7th November 2006

My Lords, I am not prepared to have Birmingham New Street defined as a nasty station, but lines are congested there and through-trains produce difficulties for timetabling. However, I draw to the attention of the House the fact that the average daily number of passengers making journeys from Preston beyond Birmingham to Plymouth is only nine, and to Bristol it is only 10. So we are not talking about hundreds of passengers being inconvenienced by this proposal. By increasing the capacity at Birmingham New Street and making sure that certain lines are kept free, we are guaranteeing that the trains will run on time, which is of great importance to the passenger.