Rail Infrastructure Transport – in the House of Commons on 30th January 2020.

Chris Clarkson MP - Heywood and Middleton
What steps he is taking to improve rail infrastructure in (a) the Castlefield corridor and (b) West Yorkshire.

Chris Heaton-Harris MP - Minister of State (Department for Transport)
My Department is working closely with Network Rail, train operators and stakeholders to develop options for improving rail capacity and performance on the Castlefield corridor in Manchester. We completely understand that sorting out the capacity there is so important.

Chris Clarkson MP - Heywood and Middleton
I thank the Minister for that answer. The national railway network barely grazes my constituency, and Metrolink avoids it altogether. Does he agree that an extension of Metrolink and the welcome reversals of the Beeching cuts will be an important part of levelling-up the forgotten towns in the north-west such as Heywood and Middleton?

Chris Heaton-Harris MP - Minister of State (Department for Transport)
I welcome my hon. Friend to his seat. As a strong representative of Heywood and Middleton, he will be pleased to hear that we are very supportive of measures to improve public transport in large urban areas such as Greater Manchester, which is why we have provided £312.5 million to the Mayor through the transforming cities fund and agreed, through the mayoral devolution deal, an earn-back mechanism that supported the construction of the latest Metrolink extension to Trafford. We will continue to do further work in that field and hopefully extend Metrolink towards my hon. Friend’s constituency.

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