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Railway Stations

Volume 559: debated on Thursday 28 February 2013

1. How many new railway stations have been opened since privatisation; and how many further stations are planned in the future. (145050)

Since May 1996, 56 stations in England and Wales have been opened. Local authorities, passenger transport executives, devolved bodies and Transport for London lead on the planning and promotion of stations. We are aware of about 40 stations which are being considered for opening by these bodies in England and Wales.

The mayor of Bristol has recently announced ambitious plans that would include the reopening of Corsham station, a project for which many of us have campaigned for many years, ably led for much of his 31 years as a councillor by Councillor Peter Davis. Does the Secretary of State agree that if we are to get people off the roads and on to trains, we must do all that we can to make the mayor’s vision of a reopened Corsham station a reality?

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for bringing to my attention the excellent work that has been done by Councillor Davis in his constituency for a very long time. I am also aware of my hon. Friend’s campaigning efforts in relation to stations in his area. He will be aware that bids are being considered under the new stations fund, and I hope to make an announcement shortly.

I have been informed that the microphones are not working. I am sure that the Minister will make himself heard.

Why are the Government not more committed to railway infrastructure? According to the National Audit Office in the 2010 spending review, they cut planned spending on rail by £1,287 million.

This Government are very committed to infrastructure, as demonstrated by our investment plans for electrification and other rail projects. We have committed to doing more in five years than the Labour Government did in 13. We have a very ambitious programme. There are 808 recommendations.

As a result of this investment programme, my constituents can now travel from a beautiful new station in Uckfield to the increasingly impressive station at London Bridge. Will my right hon. Friend look again at the availability of diesel rolling stock, so my constituents can have the same comfort on their journeys as they have at the stations?

Of course I am always prepared to listen to representations made by my hon. Friend on matters such as rolling stock. The new station at Uckfield is indeed fantastic, and I am aware that there is a huge amount going on at London Bridge.

20. The stations that my constituents in south-east London would like to see opened are a Bakerloo line station at Lewisham and a docklands light railway station at Catford. Those, of course, would also require major extensions to existing lines. Will the Minister tell me what planning if any is being carried out by his Department and Transport for London about the longer-term strategic transport needs in this part of London? (145069)

I thank the hon. Lady for her question. I can reassure her that all these matters are being looked at closely by Boris Johnson, Transport for London and the Greater London Authority.