§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he expects to announce a decision on the franchise for the east coast main line; when the pause in the franchise process announced on 14 February by the Strategic Rail Authority will be ended; and if the guidance given to the SRA includes a new alignment for the east coast main line. 
§ Mr. Hill
The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) announced on 2 March that they were lifting the pause they imposed on the replacement process for the East Coast Main Line (ECML) franchise. A decision will be announced in due course. No guidance has been given to the SRA on a new alignment for the ECML.
§ Mr. Dobson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what the estimated costs of track renewal on the east coast main line are under the franchise bids by(a) GNER and (b) Virgin; [R] 
(2) what assessment he has made of the employment implications of the GNER bid for renewal of the east coast main line franchise. [R]