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East Coast Railway Line: Franchises

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 10 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she has taken to ensure that the successful bidder for the Inter City East Coast franchise includes in their operations a major commitment to environmental sustainability; and what measures have been taken to ensure that such a commitment is an objective when awarding other new rail franchise contracts. (155729)

Bidders for the Inter City East Coast franchise were required to set out plans for measuring and reducing the environmental impact of their rail activities. They also had to address the main environmental impacts of rail operation, (carbon emissions, air quality and noise); to take account of the need to conserve resources; and to reduce waste and the contamination of water and land. The winning bidder committed, among other initiatives, to reduce fuel consumption per passenger kilometre by 28 per cent. over the franchise term and to invest £400,000 to reduce energy use at stations and depots.