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West Coast Main Line

Culture Media and Sport written question – answered on 1st May 2002.

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Photo of Helen Jones Helen Jones Labour, Warrington North

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the effect on tourism in the north-west of proposed closures of the west coast main line; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Kim Howells Kim Howells Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Culture, Media & Sport

holding answer 29 April 2002

Any disruption of tourism will be unwelcome, but weekend closures, while disruptive to tourism, are unavoidable if essential work is to take place. Any closures are considered by Railtrack, train operating companies, the relevant rail passenger committees and the Strategic Rail Authority. I am advised the weekend closures are preferable to closures during the week which would cause wider disruption for business as well as leisure travellers. The closures have been planned to avoid the Commonwealth games. The tourism industry, like other business sectors, will be looking forward to benefiting from the main line upgrade. Improved rail services are essential to ensure the long-term health of the tourism industry in the north-west.

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