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Results 21–40 of 6000 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Geoff Hoon

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Rail Fares (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: The hon. Lady refers to regulated fares. To deal with her last point first, the services are governed by the franchise agreement entered into by the train operating companies. Of course, we will not allow those agreements to be changed without a clear, good reason. To deal with the generality of her observation, support for railways comes from two sources: fare-paying passengers and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Rail Fares (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I do recognise that concern, and it is right that my hon. Friend should raise it, but I repeat the answer that I gave a moment ago: there are only two sources of finance for our railways. We have to strike a balance between the interests of fare-paying passengers and the interests of taxpayers. I believe that we have the right balance to maintain the necessary level of investment in our rail...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Rail Fares (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I have been doing a little research into what the Liberal Democrats advocate, and it is interesting that despite the hon. Gentleman's clear personal commitment to transport, he is unable to persuade any of his colleagues to support him. The Liberal Democrats would cut £1 billion from the transport budget, in the highly unlikely event of their being elected to take responsibility for...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Rail Fares (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I had the considerable privilege of visiting Wolverhampton railway station only last week. [Interruption.] No, I make it clear to the House that not only did I visit it, but I got out at the station, too. Thanks to the assiduous efforts of my hon. Friend, I was able to see for myself the exciting plans for the redevelopment of Wolverhampton station and the nearby bus station, to provide a...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Rail Fares (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: The Passenger Focus report is interesting. I look forward to meeting Passenger Focus and the Association of Train Operating Companies to discuss its contents. I would not want the Conservative party to feel that I was letting it off the hook after the comments that I made about the Liberal Democrats. If the hon. Gentleman gets his way and eventually ends up on the Government Benches taking...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: High-Speed Rail Services (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: As I announced to the House on 15 January, a new company, High Speed 2, has been formed to develop the case for high-speed services between London and Scotland. Yesterday, my noble Friend the Minister responsible for rail wrote to Sir David Rowlands at HS2, setting out what the Government expect of the new company. As a first stage, it will report by the end of the year with a proposed route...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: High-Speed Rail Services (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: Not only are we thinking about high-speed rail, but we have put our plans into action. We have formed a new company, whose job is to advise the Government on how—not whether—high-speed rail will be done. I have asked it to produce by the end of the year practical proposals for bringing forward high-speed rail lines in the United Kingdom.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: High-Speed Rail Services (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: My hon. Friend rightly represents effectively the interests of his constituents. He has put his case firmly to me, both on the Floor of the House and in private conversations, and he has been understandably vigorous in arguing for the people he represents. However, I emphasise to him that, as the House will be aware, decisions of this kind are governed by clear rules. We have followed those...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: High-Speed Rail Services (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I encourage the hon. Gentleman to go along to St. Pancras station and see the existing high-speed line that provides services to the channel tunnel and that will very soon provide high-speed services to the commuters of Kent and the south coast. We have built a high-speed link on time and on budget. He is right that it is important that the benefits of that link should be extended across the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: High-Speed Rail Services (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I share my hon. Friend's view. It is important, as I set out on 15 January, that we look at capacity questions on our network, including a consideration of electrifying the Great Western main line as well as the midland main line, which serves his constituency. I anticipate that I will receive further reports about that later this year and will make an appropriate statement to the House.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: High-Speed Rail Services (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I made it clear that that announcement would happen this year. The difference between the two proposals is that ours will be a thought-through, well-considered, carefully costed proposal by experts in the railways, in contrast to the large envelope on which the hon. Lady scribbled a few lines to produce the Conservative plans. I challenge her on this; she can write to me or put out a press...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: High-Speed Rail Services (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I am sorry, but nothing that the hon. Lady says about transport can be taken seriously when she proposes to cut £840 million from the transport budget. If she cannot persuade her own shadow Cabinet colleagues of the importance of transport, how does she expect to persuade the House or the country of anything that she says on the subject of transport?

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Topical Questions (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: Following my statement to the House on 15 January, work is now well under way on developing proposals for a second high-speed rail line in the United Kingdom, as I set out to the House earlier. On 12 February I announced a funding package for London that included an extension of the East London line to Clapham Junction. Transport for London has committed to completing the new line by 2012....

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Topical Questions (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: Another station at which I got out was Clapham Junction, where I was delighted to meet my hon. Friend, who has campaigned long and hard for the extension. I pay tribute to his determined efforts, which have now been rewarded. As I said, Transport for London is committed to completing the new line to Clapham by 2012.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Topical Questions (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: First, may I pay tribute to my hon. Friend's determination to maintain the availability of the Woodhead tunnel? She is right to ensure that that facility remains available in the long term, in case decisions are made that require its use. I am aware of the issue that she raises, and I would be delighted to meet her and any delegation that she would like to bring with her to discuss it.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Topical Questions (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I am aware of the consequential knock-on effects for the hon. Gentleman of the significant improvements on the west coast main line. We will carefully consider addressing those problems.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Topical Questions (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I am tempted to respond by suggesting that I send a copy of the speech that I gave on that occasion to my hon. Friend, but I anticipate, in the light of his observations, that it might not persuade him. In it, I set out the importance of recognising that his constituents and mine continue to want to fly, and of ensuring that that ambition is matched by a genuine commitment to reducing carbon...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Topical Questions (10 Mar 2009)

Geoff Hoon: As my hon. Friend will be aware, I do not lack ambition in that respect. Personally, I am very attracted to what he has outlined, but it is for High Speed 2 to advise the Government on the practical steps that will be necessary, and we will draw its attention to his observations.

Royal Assent: New Trains (Investment) (12 Feb 2009)

Geoff Hoon: With permission, Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a statement about new investment for our railways. The House will understand that, because of the significant and sensitive commercial nature of this announcement, it was necessary to make the information available to the markets in advance of informing the House. Britain's rail network has been a remarkable success story over the past 10...

Royal Assent: New Trains (Investment) (12 Feb 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I was grateful for what the hon. Member for Chipping Barnet (Mrs. Villiers) described as her support for the decision, but she spoiled the effect by her subsequent observations. I have read carefully the Conservative party's proposals for the future of the rail industry. Nowhere does that interesting document refer to something that I thought the hon. Lady might mention today—Conservative...


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