Results 41–60 of 3174 for speaker:Huw Merriman

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...

Transport: Topical Questions (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: Yes. It is a brilliant £30 million project, with 40 car parking spaces, which my right hon. Friend has been instrumental in making happen. I will, I hope, meet the new Mayor, whom I congratulate, to ensure that he delivers the project for 2027, as the fantastic Andy Street promised.

Transport: Topical Questions (16 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: As an example, just yesterday an invitation to negotiate was sent out by Southeastern to five train manufacturers, one of which is Hitachi, which is so well supported and championed by my hon. Friend. We have plans over the coming years for 2,000 rolling stock orders, worth a total of £3.6 billion. I hope that, with our support, the benefits for train manufacturing supply chains will continue.

Written Answers — Department for Transport: Transport: North of England (15 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: The Department will provide advice for local transport authorities shortly on the scope, process and accountability framework for the new funding, to ensure that local authorities can develop delivery plans to make the most of it.

Written Answers — Department for Transport: Railways: Industrial Disputes (15 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: Negotiations must take place between the employer, which the Rail Delivery Group has done on behalf of the train operators, and the trade union over its dispute. The Government has no role in these negotiations and discussions. We remain committed to supporting the parties in the resolution of industrial action and the Secretary of State and I have previously met with all the rail unions to...

Written Answers — Department for Transport: Railways (14 May 2024)

Huw Merriman: The Government fully supports the growth of international rail passenger services given the environmental, social and economic benefits they provide. My officials continue to engage on a regular basis with infrastructure managers and European partners to discuss the potential for new routes and potential market entrants, particularly given the unique requirements of operating through the...

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