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Volume 474: debated on Monday 21 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps she is taking to encourage rail operators to provide direct rail services to London from more towns in Great Britain. (199372)

New franchise agreements specify a minimum service level that takes account of demand and network capacity. Bidders can propose more services, where this is operationally practicable. There are also provisions to deal with the need for extra trains during the life of a franchise.