To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations he has received on the Fenchurch Street line.
I have received a number of representations recently about the Fenchurch Street line. The Government appreciate that that line does not provide the quality of service which passengers can reasonably expect. British Rail will, however, shortly be letting a contract to renew the signalling at a total cost of £50 million. That should help to improve services.
Will my hon. Friend join me in paying tribute to Mr. Martyn Rands, chairman of Basildon commuters' club—and to his hard-working committee—who met my hon. Friend this morning and presented him with a petition, signed by 5,000 people in my constituency, complaining about the disgraceful service that they receive on the Fenchurch Street line? Will my hon. Friend agree to tell the chairman of British Rail that he must do everything that he possibly can to improve the standard of service on that line for my constituents before 1995?
I certainly shall, and I pay tribute to my hon. Friend for his assiduous representations on behalf of his constituents. Largely because of his representations, it was a pleasure to announce the resignalling of that line recently.