Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:56 pm on 23rd May 2007.

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Photo of Tom Harris Tom Harris Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 4:56 pm, 23rd May 2007

I am loth to disappoint the hon. Gentleman, but it is entirely up to train operating companies to set their unregulated fares at a commercial level in order for them to exploit their own commercial market. If they wish to offer reduced fares for a particular group, that is up to them as far as unregulated fares are concerned. However, should we offer wealthier cyclists the advantage of taking their bikes on to a train where there is standing room only? We might be talking about carriages in which the number of passengers really is in excess of capacity. We would be allowing such people to take their cycles on to trains because they happen to earn more than someone along the road who cannot take their bike on the train at that particular time. If that is Liberal Democrat policy, I am delighted, but I suspect that it is probably not.