South-Eastern Rail Franchise Debate

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Department: Department for Transport

South-Eastern Rail Franchise

Joseph Johnson Excerpts
Tuesday 23rd April 2019

(1 year, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Transport
Andrew Jones Portrait Andrew Jones - Parliament Live - Hansard

The hon. Lady makes the point about whether franchising is dead; no, it is not, because of course we managed to award a franchise only in the week before Easter recess. As a process, then, franchising is working. Can we get the benefits out to passengers as fast as possible? That is of course what it is all about, but these are complex questions and it is appropriate that we take our time to get it right. On the number of compliant bids, the issue of pensions obviously attracted a lot of attention in respect of the east midlands bid. We have two pension-compliant bids for the south-eastern franchise and look forward to making the announcement as soon as we possibly can.

Joseph Johnson (Orpington) (Con) Parliament Live - Hansard
23 Apr 2019, 5:15 p.m.

Will my hon. Friend assure me that this further delay to the award of the franchise will not hold up long-awaited works for Petts Wood and St Mary Cray stations to become fully accessible—something for which residents have been campaigning for many years?

Andrew Jones Portrait Andrew Jones - Parliament Live - Hansard
23 Apr 2019, 5:14 p.m.

I thank my hon. Friend for that question. I share his enthusiasm for the access-for-all process and the recent announcement of extra funds and where those funds will be targeted by the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for Wealden (Ms Ghani). I can tell him that design work on the stations selected will be starting over the summer, with construction as soon as possible thereafter. I know that he is anxious for the benefits to serve his constituents. So am I and so is the Under-Secretary of State, who I know is listening. She has indicated that she would be very happy to meet him to take the matter forward.