Tuesday, October 23, 2007

For Train Spotters: Graham Stringer Rails on Rail Bias

Yesterday Graham Stringer MP (Manchester, Blackley) received a written answer to this question:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many new rail vehicles for (a) inter-city services, (b) commuter services in London and (c) local regional rail services were procured in each of the last 10 years.

From Tom Harris (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport):

The number of vehicles procured for (a) is around 1,200 vehicles, (b) around 3,400 vehicles, (c) around 600 vehicles.

This "holding answer" means that London commuting on local regional services had almost twice as many vehicles procured as Inter City services - also used by London commuters - and local regional services in the rest of UK combined.

When Mr Harris drills down into the overall results and identifies the new vehicles among these totals, as opposed to hand-me-downs and retreads and produces year by year tallies too it may well be that the continuing or even growing London-centricity of investment in passenger transport is shown.

Manchester is fairly good at using passenger transport, second only to London as I recall, but imagine the uplift in use with a proper proportionate investment in our trains, buses and trams.

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