On 13th May 2021 the House of Lords considered the recent train delays caused by defects in the Hitachi stock.
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, I declare an interest as a regular LNER user—indeed, I experienced disruption to the service on my trip down from Darlington. While it is essential that the defects are addressed, I am very aware of the jobs and investment brought to County Durham by Hitachi. Can the Minister confirm that this issue will not impact the investment in the region and the security of the jobs?
On 18th November the House of Lords considered the Government’s Ship Recycling (Facilities and Requirements for Hazardous Materials on Ships) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020. The Bishop of Salisbury spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: My Lords, neither ship recycling nor Northern Ireland are my territory, though church is sometimes seen as an ark to gather people safely and hazardous materials are a concern for us all. It is important for Northern Ireland to thrive as best it can within the new political arrangements that are still unfolding. The purpose of this SI is clear and not controversial; it is to the benefit of one shipyard in Northern Ireland. The EU has developed a good scheme for overseeing this process and I am sure we will be glad to continue to use it. Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury raises environmental implications of ship recycling regulations”
On 28th July Baroness Smith of Basildon asked Her Majesty’s Government “urther to the letter from Baroness Vere of Norbiton to all Members on travel corridors and Spain, sent on 26 July, what support they will provide to those who have (1) visited, or (2) travelled through, Spain and are subsequently required to self-isolate on their return to the United Kingdom and are unable to fulfil work-related obligations as a result.” The Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, asked a follow up question focusing on Luton Airport and travel corridors.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, it is not only holidaymakers and travel firms that are suffering. Luton Borough Council, in my diocese, owns Luton Airport. As a result of the lockdown, it has a significant hole in its finances, affecting every person living in the borough. It is surely in the interest of every country to find a better way to provide travel corridors based on regions rather than simply designating entire countries. What consideration are Her Majesty’s Government giving to the idea of having regional travel corridors?
On 12th May the House of Lords debated a Private Notice Question from Lord Berkeley on the safety of passengers who have to use public transport to travel to and from work. The Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, asked a question about infrequent services in rural areas.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, as well as issues of safety when using public transport, many people in rural areas are worried that the already infrequent services in the countryside are now at further risk. What are Her Majesty’s Government doing to ensure that public transport will be maintained to support communities and the economy in rural areas?
On 11th February 202o the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, responded to a Government statement on transport infrastructure, including the decision to give the go ahead to the High Speed Two rail link:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, perhaps we might return to the north-east. The noble Lord, Lord Shipley, and I, along with many others, have argued previously that this infrastructure should have begun in the north and the south at the same time. In the review, can we please ensure that we are working not just south to north but north to south? This would help speed up the process. Can the Minister also answer a question on the production of the trains and the carriages? Companies such as Hitachi and Bombardier have been mentioned. Are the contracts going to be given out in Britain?
On 21st October 2019 Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb asked the Government “what plans they have to (1) ban or (2) restrict frequent flyer “airmiles” schemes.” The Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, asked a follow-up question:
Lord Bishop of Salisbury: Can the Minister explain why the gap between aviation fuel being untaxed and road fuel being taxed as it is, is so great? If the answer is the difficulty of getting international agreement, why are UK internal flights not taxed to get some parity between different methods of transport?
On 6th June 2019 the House of Lords debated a Motion from Lord Faulkner of Worcester, “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to the report of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Heritage Rail, Engaging the Next Generation: Young People and Heritage Railways.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, while congratulating the noble Lord, Lord Faulkner, on securing this debate, I must confess to some surprise at standing to speak in it. I have little knowledge or experience of heritage railways, despite having had such a beast going through the village where I was for eight years a vicar in Rothley in Leicestershire and now having several in the diocese of Leeds. I am not proud of my ignorance, but engineering never quite got me; I guess I was more of a media studies man. I fully accept that this probably makes me a rarity among clergy in the Church of England, but I do see the import of this report and fully endorse what this debate seeks to achieve.
On 4th June 2019 Baroness Randerson asked the Government “what plans they have to encourage more people to use bus services.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, can the Minister expand on what she said about rural access? There is no point trying to encourage people to use buses where there are none. In parts of my diocese in the north of Yorkshire, to suggest that there may be increased funding or increased conversations does not change the fact that many people are isolated. Buses and transport need to be part of a holistic, integrated rural strategy that sees the various matters interconnected.