22. What recent assessment he has made of the performance of passenger rail franchises. (905591)
Does anyone have—I do apologise, Mr Speaker. I rather thought we were going on to topical questions, so my mind was there and not on the answer to the hon. Gentleman’s question.
In the national rail passenger survey report for spring 2016, published this morning, 80% of passengers were satisfied with their journey. Merseyrail, which serves many of the hon. Member’s constituents, scored 90%.
Unfortunately the Secretary of State’s response was as late as a number of the trains on the Wrexham to Bidston line, which goes through my constituency. It is an infrequent, unreliable and expensive service, which is due for renewal in the next couple of years. Will the Secretary of State ensure that we have the highest specification possible for the renewal, so we get a much improved service?
I apologise to the hon. Gentleman for the slight delay in my response. I very much hope that his constituents will enjoy some of the improvements happening in the franchises serving his area. I referred to Merseyrail, but of course there are other train operating companies providing services into his constituency and I think there will be considerable uplift on both Northern and TransPennine Express links, which will benefit his constituents.