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Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make an assessment of the effect of operating train services in the (a) public and (b) private sectors in respect of (i) innovation, (ii) use of new technology, (iii) customer services and (iv) provision of information to customers; and if he will make a statement. (244224)

In 2004 our rail White Paper “The Future of Rail” recognised rail’s status as a public service, specified by Government and delivered by the private sector. The £15 billion programme of investment in the network over the next five years, set out in last year’s rail White Paper, is focused on concrete improvements in the number of services available, performance and reliability, safety, capacity and ticketing and fares.