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Transport Infrastructure: London Region

Volume 666: debated on Thursday 24 October 2019

10. What plans his Department has to construct new transport infra- structure to serve growing towns on the outskirts of London. (900117)

Transport in the Greater London area is devolved to the Mayor and delivered on his behalf by TfL. The Department continues to fund investment in major transport projects benefiting London, such as Crossrail and the Thameslink upgrade. The Department is also working with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to plan transport infrastructure as part of sustainable house building, particularly through the housing infrastructure fund and the garden communities programme.

I thank the Minister for his response, but has he looked into the possibility of expanding his investment programme to the Gallows Corner area of my constituency—a major hub from Essex into London? Its 50-year-old structure now needs to be replaced. Is it not time that the Government stepped in to make sure that this happens?

I am delighted to confirm that we are indeed stepping in. My hon. Friend is a dogged advocate of the needs of Romford and, along with his companion Buster, has done more than anyone to put this subject on the map. I know that as well as Brexit he wants “Hexit”—he wants control of Havering taken back into Essex. However, I can confirm that we are looking at this scheme with TfL to develop a series of major structural renewals at Gallows Corner, as announced by the Government in October 2018.

I am pleased that last week, TfL launched its new consultation on the Bakerloo line extension. Will the Minister commit to exploring funding options for that scheme with HM Treasury and TfL?

Those conversations are ongoing, and I am aware that the hon. Lady met the rail Minister last week.

On the grounds that Thurrock is somewhat more geographically deserving than Truro and Falmouth in respect of this question, I call Jackie Doyle-Price.

Plans to deliver 3,000 new homes in Purfleet in my constituency have ground to a halt following Highways England’s decision to reject any planning application for more than 250 houses due to pressure on the A13. I find it difficult to explain to my constituents why Highways England is putting a new motorway through Thurrock while preventing us from planning and delivering new homes. Will the Minister meet me to discuss the matter?

Yes, I would be delighted to meet my hon. Friend. She will be pleased to know that the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Transport are working on the much closer integration of housing and transport.

High Speed 1 is one of the most successful pieces of infrastructure at enabling commuting into London. Indeed, it is so successful and reliable that many services, particularly at peak hours, are massively overcrowded. In the Department’s radical look at the future of the rail network, will Ministers consider the provision of extra rolling stock on HS1, so that my constituents in Ashford and people in other places along the lines can have more comfortable journeys to and from work?

My right hon. Friend makes a typically excellent point, and I am delighted to confirm that the rail Minister met the relevant decision makers yesterday to discuss that proposal.