Results 21–40 of 3192 for speaker:Huw Merriman

Transport: Reliability of Rail Services (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: Performance varies across the network and is dependent on both reliable infrastructure and strong operator performance. Where we have both, as on Greater Anglia, passengers enjoy great performance, and I am clear that this is a standard for all operators to achieve, working with their Network Rail route counterparts. I regularly meet Network Rail and train operators to encourage greater...

Transport: Reliability of Rail Services (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: The hon. Member is completely wrong. The pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Rail Reform Bill is being done right now by the Transport Committee. I think I am the final witness to appear before the Committee next week, so that it can, I hope, report in July. Contrast that with the passenger-in-chief approach of meddling with the railways and indeed of a resource-led timetable to fit the...

Transport: Reliability of Rail Services (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: The hon. Member is absolutely correct that the Prime Minister’s Network North commitment means over £36 billion of former HS2 money is being put into other projects, chiefly in the north and the midlands. The electrification of the north Wales main line is one of those, and it is something I am determined we will deliver. We are taking steps in allocating project time and resource so that...

Transport: Reliability of Rail Services (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: This is the folly of Labour’s nationalisation plan, because the best performing operator in terms of punctuality is Greater Anglia, and that one has the option that is coming up. The Labour party, if it makes it into government, would take away the contract from the operator that has the best performance, showing that it is all about dogma and not about best common sense. I firmly believe...

Transport: Reliability of Rail Services (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: My right hon. and learned Friend has been a champion of that project, and as he mentioned he met the Secretary of State to discuss it. HS2 is making provision for the project to occur should funding be available, and the new local transport fund makes funds available for those parts where HS2 would previously have been delivered. There is now a great opportunity for my right hon. and learned...

Transport: Reliability of Rail Services (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: I do not agree with that assertion. Post privatisation—nationalisation would reverse this—passenger numbers have doubled, and £100 billion has been invested in the railways by this Government since 2010. We look at performance, which of course we want to get better, but in March for example, 70% of trains were running to time, with 2.9% of cancellations. The two biggest cancellation...

Transport: Rail Passenger Numbers (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: The local transport fund is a £4.7 billion fund that has been allocated to local authorities in the north and midlands to fund a wide range of transport measures. The funding empowers local leaders to invest in the transport policies that matter most to people in their area, and that could include rail studies. Guidance will be published shortly to support local leaders in developing their...

Transport: Rail Passenger Numbers (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: My right hon. Friend is indeed a great champion for this scheme, which we have discussed many times. I am pleased to confirm that the local transport fund could be used to develop the new rail link between York and Hull via Beverley. It is important to say that it will be for the local transport authority to decide, and I encourage him to continue to engage with it. Our upcoming guidance will...

Transport: East West Rail (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: For connection stage one of East West Rail. I was pleased to attend an event in March to mark the completion of work on the final section of track connecting Bicester and Bletchley, with services expected to commence next year. At the spring Budget, £240 million was announced to accelerate work introducing services between Oxford and Bedford by the end of the decade. Following the...

Transport: East West Rail (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: I thank my hon. Friend for his question —[Laughter.] He was indeed in the same room as I was when I was with colleagues—this is an important aspect—from the Treasury and the Department for Levelling Up as well as our permanent secretary to discuss the cross-governmental co-ordination that will be required to unlock all the economic benefits. As he knows—we will not necessarily agree...

Transport: East West Rail (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: The East West Rail growth board, which, as my hon. Friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Richard Fuller) pointed out, is being led by the Treasury, will be critical to ensuring that joined-up approach. It is essential that we look at this project as an economic opportunity for the area. I have met my hon. Friend’s constituents as we have both travelled around, and I appreciate...

Transport: Bi-mode Trains (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: A monthly meeting is held with Network Rail and East Midlands Railway to discuss the introduction of the new bi-mode trains. Those meetings include notification of the latest delivery timescales that Hitachi has provided to the operator, and an update on mobilisation plans and related infrastructure upgrades. The aim is for the new trains to be phased into passenger service throughout 2025.

Transport: Bi-mode Trains (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: I can confirm to my hon. Friend that these fantastic new trains will be not only faster but quieter and more environmentally friendly, as they will be able to take advantage of the increasing extent of electrification that we are delivering on the midland main line. They will have 19% more seats per five-car train, and they are designed for greater comfort and more luggage space. Bearing in...

Transport: Topical Questions (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: I will do everything I can. It is a beautiful example of railway architecture and it must be saved, so I applaud my right hon. Friend’s work. I recently had a conference for leaders in rail, at which I talked to all the train operators and Network Rail about bringing these beautiful buildings back to life for the community. I have met that team as well and will do everything I can to help him.

Transport: Topical Questions (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: When that incident occurred, the Secretary of State and I made it clear to the teams at Avanti and FirstGroup that that was not acceptable, and their senior management agreed. It was crass and it was wrong. We often talk about Avanti’s performance. The overtime agreement had been withdrawn by ASLEF, which caused the start of the difficulties, but it has since been put back in place. When I...

Transport: Topical Questions (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: The bridge is owned by the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, which is not a Conservative borough, so I will correct the record there. There are two phases of work: stabilisation to ensure permanent access for pedestrians, cyclists and river traffic—despite not being the owner, the Government have put money into that—and strengthening. We will do everything we can to work with the...

Transport: Topical Questions (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: I can give that assurance to my hon. Friend. I think his Labour opponent stated that the Conservatives had not promised to deliver this project. In October, the Prime Minister set out that we would deliver the rail junction at Ely and Haughley. It is a project that the Department is keen on, as it is good for freight, and for our freight growth target. I will meet my hon. Friend and his...

Transport: Topical Questions (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: I have been meeting the operators to discuss the matter. I am happy to write to her, setting out the exact conclusion of those conversations. I am always keen to ensure that passenger and consumer interests are protected and preserved, so I will write to her.

Transport: Topical Questions (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: I promised my right hon. Friend from this Dispatch Box that the project would be delivered, and I continue to give him that assurance. I am sorry that there have been those delays. This week, I spoke to the team at some length about the station. My right hon. Friend knows that I will visit him at the station, and I will have some more concrete news for him then.

Transport: Topical Questions (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: Data from mystery shoppers, as the hon. Gentleman calls them, cannot be used unless those individuals have the disabilities that they claim to, but there are wider mystery shopping experiences that are undertaken. I will happily write to him—in fact, I will meet him, seeing as he is such a great man—and take him through the steps that are taken into account. I also thank him very much for...


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