6 December 2016: The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Transport (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon):
My Lords, with the leave of the House, I shall now repeat in the form of a Statement the Answer given earlier today by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport to an Urgent Question on the Government’s plan for train operating companies
during the debate.....
Lord Faulkner of Worcester:
My Lords, I remind the House of my railway interests, as declared in the register. On the east-west route, the Oxford to Cambridge line, the Minister will know that it was the most inexplicable of all the post-Beeching closures. It was not even listed for closure in the Beeching report. It closed in 1967 at exactly the time that Milton Keynes was designated as a new city capable of taking 250,000 people. The East West Rail consortium has been campaigning for 47 years to reopen the line. Can he give an assurance that the announcement he has made today will not delay that a day longer than necessary.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon :
The noble Lord is right to point out the history behind this line. Indeed, it predates my life. Nevertheless, it is an important issue and today’s announcement underlines the Government’s commitment to ensuring delivery. We hope the new arrangement will, if anything, bring forward the construction that I have outlined today.