High Speed Rail (West Midlands - Crewe) Bill: Revival DebateFull Debate: Read Full Debate
Christian WakefordMain Page: Christian Wakeford (Conservative - Bury South)
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I go back to my original point: at the moment, those more local services are hampered by the use of the west coast main line for freight and inter-city services. We will see an opening up of local routes if we move ahead with HS2, not a diminution of them.
On passengers and peak-time travel, at the moment price control is used to control peak-time travel. People cannot come down to London at 8 o’clock because the tickets are extortionate, primarily because that is the only way that we can manage the over-capacity at peak times. If we move the inter-city journeys at peak times on to HS2, there will be more, cheaper, accessible peak-time travel on the west coast main line and it will still get people to London in an hour and a half.
Another thing that my constituents will welcome is the link to the northern regions through Northern Powerhouse Rail.
Absolutely. It is not either/or; it is about working together. High Speed North is a rebranding and a new way of organising this—we should firmly hammer that point home—and it is about making this project one that is led in the northern regions by the northern regions, for the northern regions. I welcome that change in the governance.