Railways: Update - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:12 pm on 29th November 2017.

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Photo of Lord Bradshaw Lord Bradshaw Liberal Democrat 4:12 pm, 29th November 2017

My Lords, I draw three points to the Minister’s attention. On electrification, we had a meeting which demonstrated that the technology of the hybrid trains to which she referred may save some money and some face in the short term but will leave behind a trail of costs far in excess of those of electrification. Therefore, it ought to be considered very seriously. Secondly, I put in a word for CrossCountry trains along the lines of the reference made to Great Central. CrossCountry trains used to make much use of that route. In the new dispensation the Minister announced, will the significant success of CrossCountry trains in providing services across the country rather than to London be safeguarded? Thirdly, in the era of Dr Beeching, British Rail made a lot of money out of parcel traffic. It seems there is a new opportunity to harness the appetite for parcel services with delivery from terminals in cities by pollution-free vehicles, which could perhaps replace a lot of the vans that create both congestion and pollution chaos.