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Railways: Bus Services

Volume 505: debated on Wednesday 3 February 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what information his Department holds on the number of rail replacement bus services that have been in operation for longer than (a) one week, (b) one month and (c) one year; and what the cost has been of providing such services. (314347)

[holding answer 29 January 2010]: Rail services can be subject to amendment due to planned infrastructure improvements or maintenance works undertaken by Network Rail, especially at weekends and rail replacement bus services will often be provided as required to maintain passenger journey opportunities. Where substantial programmes of these works are being undertaken, these may, on occasion, take longer than one week.

Responsibility for the provision of these services lies with train operators and the Department does not hold detailed data on the numbers or costs of such rail replacement bus services.

There are a very small number of buses providing rail replacement services on the national network, as part of the specification for franchised passenger services provided by certain rail operators. The cost of these services are included within the overall financial settlement between the Department and the relevant train operator. The exception to this is the provision of a rail replacement bus service between Ealing Broadway and Wandsworth Road, which has been operated since December 2008. In relation to the monthly costs, I refer the hon. Member to the approximate January 2009 figures set out in the answer of 4 February 2009, Official Report, columns 1192-3W.