Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 120-125)



  120. If it could be done by one operator, why could it not be done by much better co-operation between the existing operators?
  (Mr Green) I think the industry is getting better at this and Manchester is probably the place we should focus on most. I do take the point.

  121. Can that be done with really significant improvements in Manchester without having to put the old Victoria line back into place to get trains round Manchester?
  (Mr Green) No. You might get a five or ten per cent improvement by co-operative train planning, but we really do need that investment. In Manchester we really are putting our quart into a half-pint bottle.

  122. On what sort of timescale do you think there is any chance of helping the commuters who go into Manchester and people who want to use inter-city services, both to London and to the North-East or to Liverpool?
  (Mr Green) The arrival of the new trains for all operators is going to come very quickly now, so in the next two years you will see the trains in the service.

  123. It is no good looking at a brand new train if you cannot fit more of them in.
  (Mr Green) Co-operation will take two years by the time we have rationalised our services, but what you really want is going to take five or ten years, which is big investment in flyovers.

Mr O'Brien

  124. The subject of this inquiry is railways in the North and Mr Garnett and Mr Cameron have just told us that no provision is being made for the proposals by the SRA for satisfaction because you have not heard anything yet. What is happening? If there are no discussions, no approaches, what are you asking them to do to speed up the process?
  (Mr Garnett) I will respond for the East Coast Mainline. The Strategic Rail Authority, since the franchise stopped a year ago and we knew it was two years, have taken away the whole development responsibility for that route. We have been out of the loop. We know a lot of work is going on between the Strategic Rail Authority, Railtrack and Fleur MacDonald who are the consultants working with them. We are not privy to that information. We ask for it, we do not have the information on that, they keep saying that we are due to get a presentation soon, but they are not yet ready to make it.

  125. When did they say that last?
  (Mr Garnett) Two week ago, three weeks ago. We ask them regularly. We have our quarterly review with the SRA on Friday. It is a standing item on the agenda: news on the East Coast upgrade. We are waiting.
  (Mr Cameron) Our two franchises finish on 2 February 2003. We have very little time left. The dialogue on the Trans-Pennine Express has been going on for over two years with the stakeholders such as the Passenger Transport Executives, the County Council and the Borough Councils. There has been a huge amount of dialogue, but the decision was made by the Strategic Rail Authority that that was what they wanted and we were asked to bid against that proposal. We have had very little involvement in saying what was really required.

  Mr O'Brien: It is a matter we shall look at later.

  Chairman: Thank you gentlemen. That has been very helpful. We are very grateful to you and I am sorry to have detained you longer than perhaps you felt necessary.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Prepared 30 August 2002