§ Mr. Paul Marsden
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on how the planned increase in rail investment will benefit Shrewsbury and Atcham. 
§ Mr. Hill
The planned increase in rail investment, provided for in the 10-year Plan for Transport, will enable progress to be made on a number of initiatives of benefit to Shrewsbury and Atcham, for example, modernisation of the West Coast Main Line and the Midland Capacity Study of congestion blackspots in the West Midlands. Improvements in local service patterns will result from changes in franchise boundaries in line with the indicative map of likely franchises published by the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority on 20 June. Improvements in journey quality will result from investment in new rolling stock by Virgin Trains and by operators of local train services. The planned increase in rail investment also involves a continuation of the Rail Passenger Partnership scheme, which provides funding for worthwhile projects put forward by local stakeholders.