Harriett Baldwin calls on the Government to support the local councils’ project to redouble the North Cotswold Line.
Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire) (Con)
What assessment he has made of the potential merits of additional improvements to the North Cotswold line. (911506)
The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Andrew Stephenson)
An updated strategic outline business case for improvements to the North Cotswold line is due to be resubmitted by the North Cotswold Line Taskforce.
I think people will be astonished to learn that the great cities of Worcester and Hereford are served by a rail line from London that in many places is single-track. The North Cotswold Line Taskforce has done some fantastic work in proposing that we redouble some of that track. Will the Minister look closely at its suggestions and support the local councils that are contributing to the develop phase of this project?
The Department and Network Rail will continue to work with the taskforce on its proposals. I recognise that the line has experienced a renaissance over the past decade, and the taskforce is keen to build on that. I know that my hon. Friend’s desire for improvement is shared by many of my colleagues, not least the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Robert Courts).