HL Deb 01 March 2005 vol 670 c22WA
Lord Patten

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Davies of Oldham on 21 February (WA 184), whether the responsible Ministers have considered the effect on the regional economy of the single-track railway line between Salisbury and Exeter; and, if so, what conclusions they have reached. [HL1435]

Lord Davies of Oldham

No such assessment has been made. The priority is to make best use of existing capacity. The new timetable includes a substantial increase in the frequency of trains from Yeovil and Salisbury to London. The development of the railway in the south-west will be considered by the Strategic Rail Authority's forthcoming regional planning assessment for the region. This will look at the development of the railway over the next five to 20 years, and its role in supporting the economic and wider development objectives of local, regional and central government.