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Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 23 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 25 March 2008, Official Report, column 97W, on trains, in what specific ways her Department plans to be involved in the specification process for the intercity express programme train; and what specific advantages she expects this involvement to bring. (199344)

We have developed the business case, led engagement with the industry, prepared rolling stock and service specifications, developed tender documents and are leading the procurement process.

This involvement ensures the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) provides best whole-life value for money; optimising across train, maintenance and infrastructure; deals with long-term capacity requirements including best use of existing rolling stock; and secures the all-industry collaboration needed to deliver the right result for passengers.

There is a good business case for the Intercity Express Programme, delivering better value for money and more benefits than would be the case if the Department for Transport left this to the industry alone to pursue.