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Reading-Taunton Freight Line

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 11 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will take steps to ensure that freight traffic from the Mendip quarries is re-routed via Bristol to enable essential repair work by high-output machinery on the Reading to Taunton line; and if he will make a statement; (83528)

(2) what discussions he has had with the owners of (a) Whatley and (b) Merehead Quarry on their use of freight trains at times when repairs could be effectively carried out to the Reading to Taunton line by high-output machinery;

(3) if he will ensure that the high-output machinery for repairing and improving rail track is used on the West country route between Reading and Exeter and not transported to other parts of the rail network until the work is completed.

[holding answer 10 July 2006]: These are operational matters for Network Rail, the owner and operator of the national rail network. The hon. Member should contact Network Rail’s chief executive at the following address for a response to his questions.

John Armitt

Chief Executive

Network Rail

40 Melton street

London NW1 2EE