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Railways: Closures

Volume 501: debated on Tuesday 24 November 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what his policy is on the (a) promotion and (b) facilitation by his Department of the reopening of closed railway (i) lines and (ii) stations. (301246)

It is for local authorities and regions to determine whether or not a re-opened railway or a new station is the best way to meet local or regional transport needs. They can fund a scheme from the regional funding allocation if it is a priority and demonstrates value for money. The Department for Transport is prepared to work with promoters of new lines, services and stations to help and advise them on how their objectives can be achieved and to facilitate their implementation through changes to franchises.

Where investment requires the provision of new or enhanced services, the policy is that a subsidy required should be funded by the promoter for at least the first three years. Following that period, if the service is successful and demonstrates value for money, subject to funds being made available, the Government would consider funding it thereafter as part of the national rail network.