GWR and Network Performance — [Mr Clive Betts in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:47 am on 5th February 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport), Vice-Chair, Conservative Party 10:47 am, 5th February 2019

It is always a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Betts. I will start by thanking everybody who has contributed to the debate, and congratulating Stephen Doughty on securing it in the first place. Many issues have been raised, and I will try to address as many as I can in the short time allowed, so I must press on fast.

The question has been asked, “Are the Government investing in railways?” The answer is yes, of course; we are investing a record amount to deliver more reliable, more comfortable and safer journeys for our rail network. Alongside our investment in infrastructure, we have delivered new, more reliable trains on the Great Western main line. There has been a change, however, in the way we approach investment in the next funding period. In the past, we focused very much on enhancements, but we are now focusing more of our £48 billion budget on reliability, and particularly on repairing and replacing the worn-out parts of our network to increase reliability and punctuality.