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Results 101–120 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: Midland Main Line (27 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I am grateful to my hon. Friend. I have promised myself that in future I will always refer to the Great Western line before I refer to the midland main line, but the case for both is equally strong.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Midland Main Line (27 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: The hon. Gentleman and I have discussed this across the Floor of the House before. I recall mentioning on that previous occasion that there will be an improvement in the service from Kettering, in terms not only of the journey time but of the service, including one service that actually starts in Kettering, to ensure that where there are difficulties, the hon. Gentleman's constituents will...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Midland Main Line (27 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I had not planned to do so specifically, not least because, for all the reasons mentioned so far this afternoon, electrification is generally reckoned to have positive climate change benefits. The proposed electrification would reduce the amount of carbon emitted, and, while it is true that only about 1 per cent. of carbon generated by public transport is emitted by railways in the first...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: West Coast Main Line (27 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: Network Rail has apologised to passengers and businesses for the disruption on the west coast main line over the new year period, which was the result of separate incidents. Disruption on the railway does have economic consequences, which is why we are committing record levels of investment to increase capacity and resilience. The economic impact of the improved west coast main line is a very...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: West Coast Main Line (27 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on his question. I am told that he chairs "a small but influential group of rail users". I trust that that small group consists of more than one member, but—

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: West Coast Main Line (27 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I would be delighted to visit Lichfield.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: West Coast Main Line (27 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: Even better. It appears that the hon. Gentleman's "small group" is a very small one indeed. Nevertheless, I would be delighted to meet him to discuss rail services in Lichfield, and I agree that it is important that reliable services are maintained from Lichfield, and also along other parts of the west coast main line. That is precisely why we committed so much funding to its improvement, and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: West Coast Main Line (27 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I made it clear earlier that we will not, in any way, allow compromises to be made on safety—and that applies specifically to maintaining our railway network. It is vital that passengers and staff on the railways should have complete confidence in the equipment that they use. My hon. Friend is right to emphasise the importance of maintaining and improving skill levels, and that is why the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: West Coast Main Line (27 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I do not accept that this was solely about long-distance journey times, because it was also about increasing the capacity on the line: some 45 per cent. more services can travel on the line as a result of the capacity improvements. That is fundamental to passengers up and down the line; it means that many more direct services from different destinations can be organised, alongside the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: West Coast Main Line (27 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I have regular meetings with Network Rail's senior management, and I assure my hon. Friend, as I assure the House, that safety, reliability and maintenance are matters that are pursued on a regular basis. We will not allow them to slide.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: West Coast Main Line (27 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I find the hon. Lady's remarks curious, given the sad history of Railtrack, for which her party, in government, was solely responsible. My predecessor created Network Rail to deal with the complete failure of Railtrack, over which she and her Government presided.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: West Coast Main Line (27 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: As the hon. Lady might one day eventually find out, being in government and taking decisions involves rather more than scribbling on the back of an envelope—which was pretty much what the Conservative party's proposals for a high-speed network consisted of. I have been writing on similar envelopes for a very long time—since I was a small child. The reality is that developing a high-speed...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: West Coast Main Line (27 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: There appear to be different opinions about the quality of Euston station, but I assure my hon. Friend that there are detailed plans in hand for refurbishing it. I hope that he will be pleased with the results.

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Topical Questions (27 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: On 15 January, I set out to the House a series of major announcements on transport infrastructure. That included confirmation of the Government's support for a third runway at Heathrow airport, plans for increasing capacity on some of Britain's busiest roads and the creation of a new company, High Speed 2, to develop the case for new high-speed rail services between London and Scotland. In...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Topical Questions (27 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: If I may qualify my hon. Friend's remarks to some extent, those events in New York were not miraculous. They were the result of remarkable skills displayed by the aircrew, and we should all pay tribute to them. My hon. Friend is right, in that all airports must have regard to the risk of bird strike, and each airport is required to have a control programme. That has always been taken...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Topical Questions (27 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I was pleased to have a very useful meeting recently with my hon. Friend, at which she put her case on behalf of her constituents in Northampton with her usual determined vigour. I was left in no doubt about the importance of the required improvements that she suggested, and I shall certainly take the matter up with the franchise holder. As for the wider question of capacity, my hon. Friend...

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Topical Questions (27 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I am grateful to my hon. Friend. I shall continue with my self-imposed injunction always to mention the Great Western first. I assure her that the economic case for the electrification of that line is strong, and that we shall be looking at it in detail over the course of this year before we make a further announcement.

Business of the House: Transport Infrastructure (15 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: With permission, Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a statement about the Government's plans for Britain's transport infrastructure. Effective transport links are vital to our economic competitiveness and our daily lives. Britain's prosperity is increasingly defined by the quality of its links to other great trading nations, by the way in which we move people and goods around the country, and...

Business of the House: Transport Infrastructure (15 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: In weighing the evidence when making difficult decisions, such as those that I outlined to the House today, any Government or potential Government have to consider it carefully and reach often difficult conclusions. I am sorry that the hon. Lady demonstrated in her remarks today that she had clearly reached her conclusions long before any examination of the evidence. She also showed—I...

Business of the House: Transport Infrastructure (15 Jan 2009)

Geoff Hoon: I do not agree with the comments of the Mayor of London about developing an estuary airport, but it is significant that his approach recognises the requirement for extra capacity for Heathrow. Although I disagree with his conclusion, at least he recognises the problem that the country and its businesses face. He said: "The reality is that this recession will end, and when it ends we need to...


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