To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will encourage train operating companies to increase the provision of rail services between Rugby and Scotland and the north- west of England; and if he will make a statement. (319381)
The existing west coast franchise is due to end in March 2012. Consultation on the detail of the next west coast franchise will commence 15 to 18 months beforehand. Train operating companies and stakeholders are free to come forward with proposals.