[Ann Winterton in the Chair] — West Coast Route Modernisation

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:31 pm on 25th May 2006.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling Shadow Secretary of State for Transport 3:31 pm, 25th May 2006

I have not got used to the change of Secretary of State yet, either; I keep referring to the Secretary of State's predecessor.

Surely the point about double-decker trains is that if the west coast route cannot take them, the Minister can consult all he wants on them, but they will not work there. The previous Secretary of State made it absolutely clear that the Department sees double-decker trains as an important part of future strategy for the west coast route. Despite the most recent modernisation programme, that route is forecast to be one of the most congested on the network in the next few years. Have the Government ensured that the modernisation process has left gauge clearances of a scale sufficient to take double-decker trains in future?