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Stansted Rail Link

Volume 163: debated on Monday 4 December 1989

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7.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will investigate the adequacy of capacity on the Liverpool Street/Cambridge line before the commencement of the Stansted airport rail link.

The efficient operation of the railways is a matter for British Rail, but my hon. Friend the Minister of State has agreed to meet my hon. Friend to discuss his concerns and those of his constituents.

Will my hon. Friend in his own responsibility for aviation share the concern of our hon. Friend the Minister of State to ensure that the airport rail link gets off to a good start? Is there not some cause for worry when the resignalling of the Bethnal Green to Stansted section will not be in place by 1991 and there is no provision for any extra tracks? Is my hon. Friend aware that the service currently offered by British Rail within those constraints is not good? How can he expect it to be successful unless further action is taken?

I agree with my hon. Friend about the need to provide an efficient service from Stansted. The development there is most impressive and I congratulate the British Airports Authority on that project. I hope that my hon. Friend's points can be covered in his meeting with the Minister of State.

Before work on the Stansted rail link commences, will my hon. Friend ensure that British Rail is as receptive to proposals for rail links to regional airports?

I am sure that every case that comes before British Rail will be judged on its merits.