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Train Operating Companies: Yorkshire — [Dame Cheryl Gillan in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:40 am on 19th December 2018.

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Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 10:40 am, 19th December 2018

No, because I am running out of time. I have 50 seconds left.

We have a trans-Pennine upgrade that is bigger than anything ever considered or delivered by Labour. We are delivering it for the north in a way that has never been considered before.

Northern Powerhouse Rail, which some have called Crossrail for the north, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The scheme is being developed for the north by the north—by Transport for the North—and the Government have given a budget to help it to do that. Crossrail in London was mentioned as if money were piling into it. The money that has gone into Crossrail was, of course, a loan. Transport for London needed that loan to help it deliver the project. It was not a grant.

Of course, it is fair to say that rail services across Yorkshire and the north as a whole have not been good enough. That is entirely understood, but I want to leave colleagues in no doubt that we recognise the importance of the Yorkshire rail network and that steps are being taken to improve it. More than that, I hope that in a year’s time passengers will be able to experience the change as investment comes on stream, and the benefits to match our vision for a 21st century railway in Yorkshire.