Department for Transport written question – answered on 9th December 2014.

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Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Conservative, Tamworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve capacity utilisation on the East Coast and West Coast main lines in order to allow more open access services to compete with the franchised operator.

Photo of Claire Perry Claire Perry Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Government is investing heavily in the rail network to increase strategic capacity for the benefit of passengers and £38bn will be spent on enhancing and maintaining the network between 2014 and 2019. Specific plans to upgrade the East Coast Mainline are set out in the Rail Investment Strategy and £9bn was spent on upgrading the West Coast Mainline. Decisions about the available capacity and the access rights to utilise it, including that that will be provided by the infrastructure enhancements as a result of the Rail Investment Strategy, are made by the Office of Rail Regulation.

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