My Intervention in the Urgent Question on Great British Railways

Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP (Wokingham) (Con): When will the Government and railway companies come forward with proposals for an improved pattern of services that attracts many more fare-paying passengers? We need to get the deficit down very quickly and the best way of doing so is by getting more people paying fares willingly.

Kevin Foster, Minister of State, Department for Transport: My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. Clearly, demand patterns have changed dramatically during the pandemic. For example, a lot fewer people are commuting into London at 7 am to 9 am and then leaving between 5 pm and 7 pm, or they are doing that three or four days a week rather than five, so there is a need to look at how we can adapt. We are giving slightly more flexibility to some operating companies, and looking at how we use our ticketing and, in particular, our ticket pricing. The rail sale was a great way of getting a lot of people on to trains that might otherwise have been relatively quiet, producing new revenue to the railways. In addition, as I said in response to the SNP spokesperson, Lumo is targeting traffic that goes by air to get it on tracks.



  1. David Peddy
    October 26, 2022

    Justified cancelling HS2 in a few sentences

  2. , George Brooks.
    October 26, 2022

    ”We are giving slightly more flexibility to some operating companies, and looking at how we use our ticketing, and in particular, our ticket pricing”.

    We were sold the idea that the rail companies had a franchise and had been de-nationalised, so why are we, the taxpayer, still responsible for timing and pricing?

    As usual the government lands us in the worst of all worlds. The companies have a chance to make a profit and we pick up the losses!!!!! Or have I got it wrong?

  3. MFD
    October 26, 2022

    Why Sir John, if the railways are privatised are the Goverment wasting tax payers money inter-fearing?
    Throw them the reins and let them get on with it – no more tax payers money going into it!

  4. John
    October 26, 2022

    This is the problem – when you ask a government minister what they will be doing, they don’t give you an answer, it seems they are trained to deflect a critical question because they have NO IDEA what to do.

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