Oral Answers to Questions Debate

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Department: Department for Transport

Oral Answers to Questions

Sir Edward Leigh Excerpts
Thursday 2nd July 2020

(2 months, 4 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Transport
Rachel Maclean Portrait Rachel Maclean - Hansard

I join the hon. Gentleman in the comments he has made, and Conservative Members, too, pay our tribute to those key workers—those bus workers—who have played a vital part in keeping goods, services and passengers moving around the country. We want to thank them from the bottom of our hearts for their service. We work closely with the Department of Health and Social Care to ensure that they are kept safe throughout the pandemic. As bus services start to recover, we are working closely on a bus recovery and restart package, as well as the £5 billion we have pledged to put in to keep bus services on a sustainable footing for the long term.

Sir Edward Leigh Portrait Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) (Con) - Hansard

If he will introduce a direct service between Cleethorpes and London through Market Rasen. [904122]

Andrew Stephenson Portrait The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Andrew Stephenson) - Hansard

I recognise and pay tribute to my right hon. Friend’s campaign. He has raised this issue with me on a number of occasions. London North Eastern Railway and Network Rail continue to assess how the service could operate.

Sir Edward Leigh Portrait Sir Edward Leigh - Hansard

I apologise to the Minister for banging on about this, and so do my hon. Friends the Members for Cleethorpes (Martin Vickers) and for Great Grimsby (Lia Nici), but we are talking about a catchment area of 100,000 people with no direct train to London. LNER, which we own, is prepared to give us our direct train for just £1 million, which compares with the £80 billion-plus we are spending on HS2. So we beg the Minister to do this for Lincolnshire, and we promise that if he gives us our train, we will make him an honorary yellowbelly.

Andrew Stephenson Portrait Andrew Stephenson - Hansard

That would indeed be a great honour. Before a final decision can be taken, we need to review a business case from LNER. Sadly, some of the surveys have been delayed because of coronavirus, but they will be taking place later this summer. I am happy to commit to writing to my right hon. Friend setting out the schedule for that work, and to keeping him and his colleagues updated.