HC Deb 03 February 2004 vol 417 c618
15. Ms Sally Keeble(Lab) (Northampton, North)

What consultation will be carried out with rail user groups on the new timetables for services using the west coast main line. [152285]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Tony McNulty)

The Strategic Rail Authority aims this month to provide detailed timetable proposals for comment. Consultees will include rail user groups such as the Northampton rail user group.

Ms Keeble

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. The Northampton rail user group, which I chair, looks forward to receiving the timetable proposals. Will he ensure that all the rail user groups receive copies, because—at a difficult time, with work being done and much concern about timetables—it is important that those with an interest in the success of the industry have a chance to see and comment on the proposed timetables?

Mr. McNulty

I fully accept the points that my hon. Friend makes and I know that she has worked keenly with the SRA and the Northampton rail user group to ensure reform. The consultation meeting with that rail user group will be held in the Guildhall later this month, and I will ensure that my hon. Friend's comments are passed on to the SRA.

Mr. Peter Pike(Lab) (Burnley)

Does my hon. Friend agree that when the users of the west coast main line are consulted on the timetable, it will be important to take into account links with local services at stations such as Preston, which feed the west coast main line?

Mr. McNulty

The timetables that emerge will be rooted in the overall strategy for the west coast main line, and part of that strategy includes how local services interface with the main line. However, I will ensure that my hon. Friend's comments are passed on to the SRA in terms.