Oral answers to questions - Transport - Rail Fares

Sir Alan Haselhurst (Saffron Walden) (Con): If I am pressing my right hon. Friend, as indeed I am, to invest more in track capacity on the West Anglia line and to ensure that there is a purchase of new rolling stock soon, do I assist my constituents if at the same time on their behalf I ask him to peg fares, or even reduce them?

Secretary of State for Transport (Mr McLoughlin): I am grateful to my right hon. Friend. I met him this week and he made the case very strongly for extra and faster capacity for his constituents in the feed-in to Liverpool Street. He highlights the exact dilemma: people want extra investment and it has to be paid for. The Government are prepared to subsidise the railways and are doing so, but the passenger also has to pay for extra capacity and new trains.