Whilst welcoming the Minister’s commitment to progress with High Speed Two, Mr Binley stressed the need to take-up the challenge laid down by the conclusions of the McNulty Review and force the railway industry to address its inefficiencies.
Mr Binley said: “I very much welcome the Government’s decision to invest in High Speed Two, alongside the programme of capital spending on the railway network which will feature in the next Control Period expenditure profile. This reinforces the Government’s commitment to expenditure which will enable economic growth and improve our national infrastructure”.
He continued: “but it is very important that we make sure that the railway industry does not become the sole preserve of the wealthy: the fact that a season ticket to London from my constituency costs £5,628 is unreasonable and unacceptable. Commuters across the country are being forced to pay the price for the industry’s failure to get a grip of its own cost base”.
In conclusion, he stated: “I am pleased that the Government has made clear its commitment to invest in our railway network – but Ministers need to do more to make the industry address its costs, and to stop passing the buck. For too long, it has been too easy for railway companies to fleece their customers, whilst ignoring the cost of their own failures. The conclusions of the McNulty Review are clear and compelling, and it is time that the industry got a grip – or we risk a network that is unaffordable in the future”.