To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will issue a direction to the Chief Executive of Network Rail to reply to the letter of 3 June 2014 from the right hon. Member for Tonbridge and Malling, and his subsequent letter pressing for a reply, regarding the establishment of a business and innovation centre at the Station Masters House at Edenbridge Town Station.
Network Rail operates at arm’s-length from the Department, without day-to-day supervision, and is not expected to involve Ministers in its regular operational decisions such as the establishment of a business and innovation centre at Edenbridge Town station.
However, this is an unacceptable delay and Network Rail advises that Mark Carne’s reply to the right Hon Member for Tonbridge and Malling is due to be sent on 23 January.
Network Rail held a site meeting in December with the train operator Southern and the group proposing to use the Station Masters House, to look at the rooms in question and to discuss the proposals for future use. Network Rail is continuing its discussions about the lease with all parties to find a way forward in the near future. Both Network Rail and Southern are supportive of this proposal.