West Coast Main Line

Department for Transport written question – answered at on 24 May 2024.

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Photo of Lord Blencathra Lord Blencathra Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to expediting the application by Virgin Trains to run a service on the West Coast Main Line; and when they intend to announce their decision.

Photo of Lord Davies of Gower Lord Davies of Gower Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

We note with interest the reports in the media about the application from Virgin Trains, and welcome open access applications where they provide improved connectivity and choice for passengers and do not disproportionately impact taxpayers. Access to the rail network, however, is ultimately a decision for the Office of Rail and Road in its role as independent regulator for the rail industry. The Department therefore awaits further engagement from the ORR and Network Rail on Virgin’s proposals and will provide its views as part of the relevant industry consultation, as is standard process for all open access applications.

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