Railways: North West

Department for Transport written question – answered on 5th July 2018.

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Photo of Gordon Marsden Gordon Marsden Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on on (i) businesses and (ii) the visitor economy in Blackpoolof Network Rail's decision to close the lines between Manchester and Preston for upgrade works from 25 August 2018 to 2 September 2018.

Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Department for Education) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (Department for Transport), Minister of State (London)

The Network Rail programme has been agreed with the train operators to enable the completion of this key upgrade before the end of the year.

Once complete, it will enable modern trains to run, with more seats. Network Rail has also recently completed the upgrade of the route to the north of this, between Preston and Blackpool meaning that, together, these improvements will enable modern, faster trains, with more seats, to run between Blackpool and Manchester. This will also mean that trains currently in use between Manchester and Preston can be used elsewhere on the network, enabling an improved service across the north.

The Department for Transport expects Network Rail to work with Train Operators to seek to minimise the inconvenience to passengers of essential engineering work.

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