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Reading-Basingstoke Line: Electrification

Volume 636: debated on Thursday 1 March 2018

2. What assessment he has made of the timescale required for the electrification of the Reading to Basingstoke line. (904102)

The Secretary of State’s acceptance of the Hendy review in 2016 recognised the necessity of changes to the scope of Great Western electrification. Following completion of a feasibility assessment of the line between Reading and Basingstoke, it has been identified that electrification of that section is not required to deliver improvements to passengers.

Given my hon. Friend’s commendable plan to scrap all diesel-only trains from our tracks by 2040, would he consider extending Crossrail from Reading to Basingstoke, as an alternative to Great Western, to improve capacity into London from north Hampshire?

The Department always welcomes suggestions from my hon. Friend. There are no current plans to extend the Crossrail route, and no assessment has yet been made of the amount or availability of any such scheme.