Results 161–180 of 3192 for speaker:Huw Merriman

Written Answers — Department for Transport: Railway Stations: Access (17 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: As part of our recent Network North announcement, the Government confirmed £350m will be made available to improve the accessibility of our train stations. We are assessing over 300 nominations for Access for All funding. At stations awarded funding this will create an obstacle free, accessible route from the station entrance to platforms. Successful nominations will be announced in due course.

Written Answers — Department for Transport: High Speed 2 Line: Compensation (17 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: In all cases, HS2 Ltd seeks to provide compensation in as timely a manner as possible. And the focus of the Department for Transport has always been on devising policies to ensure that transactions are progressed promptly. For instance, the streamlined residential blight (SRB) scheme was introduced to provide a quicker route for property owners to sell their home as the process does not...

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: Mr Speaker, before I start, may I thank you for having me up in your constituency of Chorley over the Easter holiday? I pass on my deepest condolences to you and your family for the loss of your father. I thank the hon. Lady for her urgent question. I am responding on behalf of the Secretary of State, who will shortly be meeting the Alstom group chairman and chief executive to discuss a...

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: The hon. Lady asks whether the Secretary of State will take responsibility and work on this matter. He is doing that right now. He is about to start a meeting with the chief executive and chairman. And that is not the first meeting: he has held eight meetings with Alstom and eight with Hitachi to find solutions. Our officials in the Department for Transport have worked incredibly hard, as has...

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: I thank the Chair of the Select Committee for his work. The Committee as a whole has looked at this issue and really probed for solutions. On the GBR point, it is also providing the body of pre-legislative scrutiny of rail reform, and I thank my hon. Friend and his Committee for their work in that endeavour. He is absolutely right that a more holistic approach to the railway, in which track...

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: Again, let us look at the facts. Since 2012, 8,000 new rolling stock vehicles have been manufactured—that is out of a total fleet of 15,600, so it is a relatively young fleet. Taking into account the fact that the fleet tends to last 35 to 40 years, and that it now has an average of 17 years’ service, I hope that the hon. Gentleman will see that there has been a substantial investment in...

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: I thank my hon. Friends the Members for Mid Derbyshire (Mrs Latham) and for Derby North (Amanda Solloway) for the amount of work that they have put in to press us, privately but firmly, to ensure that we are working on this issue, given their concern as constituency MPs. I could not credit them enough for the amount of work that has gone in on their side, and for doing it sensibly—and that...

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: I thank the right hon. Member for the points she has raised. The discussions have been cross-party: the leader of Derby council has worked very closely with the Department to try to broker a solution. I will take away her point about meetings; I do not have that information to hand, but I will ensure she gets the meeting she has asked for. The point I was making was that the comments from the...

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: I thank my hon. Friend; he is a champion of the railway, and it was an absolute delight to visit him at Huddersfield station and talk about some of those projects. Of course, his point is completely relevant to the matter before us. The trans-Pennine route upgrade, for which there will be more Government investment than there was for the entirety of Crossrail, allows us to put an order in...

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: I certainly take that point from my good friend. The hon. Member has worked tirelessly for the rail workforce, and I know that he means everything he says with passion and conviction. I have talked about the situation being a complex one from a legal perspective, and I would take him back to the contract award for HS2, which went to Alstom and Hitachi. That was challenged in court by Siemens;...

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We are talking not just about the jobs at the manufacturing plant in Derby, but about all the jobs throughout the supply chain. I work really closely with the supply chain and its trade representatives—the Railway Industry Association and Railfuture—and I am keen to continue to do so. Our work and our endeavour is to try to find a solution, not just...

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: Thanks to the UK taxpayer, the Government have invested over £100 billion in the railways, and a lot of that investment has gone through to rolling stock. As I have mentioned, the rolling stock is now on average under 17 years old, with a life cycle that goes to 35 to 40 years. I will give the hon. Lady a good example of where the future is bright: in the area of innovation and technology....

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: I can give my hon. Friend that assurance. He is absolutely right; this is a complex matter, and it is important that we get it right. We are working with Alstom, with the council, and with all other parties. I should just correct the record: I am very happy to take up this issue with the right hon. Member for Derby South (Dame Margaret Beckett), but my understanding is that she met the...

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: That is correct—good. I am glad I have got that on the record. My hon. Friend the Member for Darlington (Peter Gibson) is absolutely right. This matter is complex and challenging, but I can tell you, Mr Speaker, and the House that the Secretary of State is working at full pelt on this matter with Alstom. I am hopeful that a solution will be found that will demonstrate all of that hard work.

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: The answer is over the course of this year and next year for all of the train manufacturers that the hon. Lady has mentioned. I well remember the visit that both she and I made to the Alstom site with the Transport Committee. As she rightly says, it is a fantastic site, which is why we are working to find a solution. I am certainly encouraged by the conversations that have taken place. We...

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: As my hon. Friend has described, this is a careful balance. I reiterate that if we were to award contracts outside of the usual process, other workforces would also be impacted, such as those in Newport, in Newton Aycliffe and in the Hull area. We have to take into account the whole workforce, as well as fair process on the contract. However, as he mentions, trains are being manufactured...

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: I do not accept that. When I met the train manufacturers earlier this year, they said they wanted longer-term certainty, and the reason for setting out what is coming up next is to give them that certainly. Of course, train manufacturing is going on right now. For example, we have just seen the award to CAF for the 10 LNER tri-mode trains, so there is manufacturing and contracts are being...

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: Yes, indeed. The team at Hitachi as well as Alstom will of course be working on the HS2 tender for 54 trains that will be coming their way. I am very keen to meet them, and I met Hitachi yesterday—albeit a different arm that is more on the signalling side. I am keen to work with the private sector. We are very proud of the train manufacturers we have in this country, and we want to ensure...

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: These are private sector companies. They of course rely on Government-funded contracts, but ultimately they are private sector companies, and this is a matter for them. Our job is to support them, and I have described the order book we have put through since 2012. Of course, any Government or Government in waiting actually have to follow the correct process with our officials and to do things...

Rail Manufacturing: Job Losses (16 Apr 2024)

Huw Merriman: I thank my hon. Friend because—as he puts it himself, but he is being too modest—he is working with us constantly to ensure that Hitachi’s concerns are addressed. We have met Hitachi a number of times. We have great faith in its leadership, and we work closely with them. It is not consulting on any changes to the workforce at the moment. As I have mentioned, it has a share in the order...


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