HC Deb 03 December 1984 vol 69 cc7-8
7. Dr. Brian Mawhinney

asked the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the east coast main line to be electrified to Peterborough.

Mr. David Mitchell

British Rail plans to introduce electrified services to Peterborough in October 1987.

Dr. Mawhinney

I apologise to you, Mr. Speaker, but I did not hear my right hon. Friend say that question No 8 was to be linked. Will my hon. Friend give my constituents an assurance that once the main line to Peterborough is electrified services will start and that we shall not have to wait until the line is electrified beyond Peterborough?

Mr. Mitchell

I can give my hon. Friend that assurance. He has badgered me and my predecessor to bring this enhanced service to his city. I am pleased to reassure him.

Mr. Dalyell

What is the timetable for the Peterborough to Edinburgh line?

Mr. Mitchell

The electrification date for the line between Edinburgh and Newcastle is May 1991 and to Leeds 1989.

Mr. Yeo

Is my hon. Friend aware that the electrification of the line even further to the east, to Ipswich, has been accompanied by considerable disruption, and that there will be consternation among my constituents and those in Peterborough if electrification of that line results in similar disruption?

Mr. Mitchell

A certain amount of disruption is inevitable to achieve such major reconstruction. British Rail has said that 95 per cent. of the work will be done at a time when the track is in possession for normal maintenance. We expect hold-ups to be approximately eight minutes.

Mr. Anderson

Will the Minister say which is the next line, in order of priority, after the east coast main line electrification?

Mr. Mitchell

It is for British Rail to come forward with a proposal, which we shall then consider.

Mr. Soames

When my hon. Friend has finished electrifying the Peterborough line, will he be so kind as to put the same amount of investment into the line serving my constituents?

Mr. Speaker

That is also rather outside the question.