Tuesday 16 November 2021
The petition of residents of the constituency of Cities of London and Westminster,
Declares that Chiltern Railways should upgrade their fleet to improve air quality; further that Marylebone is currently the only station in London which uses only diesel trains; and further that this usage greatly increases the noise and fumes in the area, much to the distress of local residents.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to ensure that the new franchise with Chiltern Rail requires that they convert their diesel trains to hybrids and end their lease on Class 68 locomotives.
And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Felicity Buchan, Official Report, 8 November 2021; Vol. 703, c. 148 .]
Observations from the Minister of State, Department for Transport (Chris Heaton-Harris):
The Department for Transport is currently in negotiations for a new national rail contract on the Chiltern route which, if successful, will include plans for improving the environmental impact of stations and trains, including at Marylebone station.
A trial of hybrid trains is currently under way to determine whether this is a feasible option for more environmentally friendly rolling stock on this route. Additionally, we are exploring options for procuring greener rolling stock on the route, and the environmental impact is an important factor in this process.
The transport decarbonisation plan, published on 14 July, covers all areas of transport and sets out to deliver the necessary carbon reductions in a way that is both cost-effective and that delivers a host of co-benefits, including improved air quality and health.
The Government are committed to improving air quality in and around stations, particularly where many people are likely to be exposed to harmful pollutants. To better understand this issue, we are funding a £4.5 million stations air quality monitoring network, as published in the rail environment policy statement earlier this year. This funding will be rolled out over the next three years, with air quality monitors installed in around 100 stations across England and Wales, including Marylebone station, from summer 2021.