The Government absolutely appreciate the unique importance of heritage steam railways in this country in promoting our industrial heritage and supporting tourism. We are in regular communication with the industry.
I am lucky to have seven heritage railways in Dwyfor Meirionnydd, and steam engines were designed to be run on coal. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, they face a crisis in the supply of suitable coal. The sector is working to develop alternatives to coal, as required by the net zero agenda, but it needs help. Will the Minister commit to supporting heritage steam to ensure the survival of our industrial heritage?
I have had several conversations with the right hon. Lady on this topic, as I have with colleagues from across the House, and I understand the complexities and challenges. She will be aware that some of the issues that need to be resolved may be outside DCMS’s portfolio. Ultimately, the sourcing of fuel supplies is a commercial arrangement. However, I will be happy to continue to work with her and facilitate further conversations across Government.