To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the consultation document on East Midlands rail franchise, published in July 2017, whether his Department has considered the effect on the local economy of an increase in the number of fast trains from London to London Luton Airport to four an hour.
The Department is still undertaking a process of information gathering to develop the specification for the next East Midlands rail franchise.
All options for future East Midlands services are subject to analysis of the potential benefits and consultation with stakeholders, which is currently ongoing. We are considering the case for additional services to Luton Airport and are working collaboratively with Luton Airport to understand their proposals. Any outcome will seek to secure the best value for money for the taxpayer, be in the best interests of passengers and the decisions will be taken using economic analysis, which includes social and environmental impacts.
The formal public consultation continues until 11 October and will inform the specification, I would strongly encourage the honourable Member to make his views known through the consultation process before it closes.