HC Deb 23 July 1980 vol 989 cc472-3
2. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Minister of Transport if he will make a statement on the introduction of the advanced passenger train on the Euston-Glasgow central route.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Mr. Kenneth Clarke)

Two advanced passenger train prototypes will enter regular service between London and Glasgow on 6 October, and a third one will follow in the new year. My right hon. Friend has recently received proposals from the board to carry the APT project forward, and we are now considering these.

Mr. Dempsey

Is the Minister aware that this news will be warmly welcomed by the people in the West of Scotland, particularly, as the introduction of this advanced passenger train has been postponed time after time? Will the Minister do his utmost to secure that this date of 6 October will definitely be honoured?

Mr. Clarke

There is no reason to doubt that that date will be honoured. This is a very interesting and encouraging technical development by British Rail.

Mr. Robert Atkins

May I, as a Member for a constituency through which the APT will pass in due course, welcome the Minister's words and ask gently whether the standard of catering on the APT will be a little bit better than it is on the present service?

Mr. Clarke

I hope that the APT will pass through a lot of constituencies between London and Glasgow. We all appreciate that there is room for improvement in the standards of British Rail catering but British Rail has that aspect of its services very much in mind. Indeed, a recent appointment was made to the board of someone with expertise in the catering field.

Dr. M. S. Miller

Will the Minister give us a little more information on the proposals? When he says that there will be two APTs does he mean two in each direction or one in each direction?

Mr. Clarke

There will be two prototype sets in service and a third is planned. The details of the timetable and the service are entirely matters for British Rail.