Bishop of Leeds – heritage railways offer skills and volunteer opportunities for young people

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:

18.12.05 Leeds Brexit deal 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.

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Bishop of Leeds asks Government about rural bus services

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.

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Bishop of Newcastle calls for improved rail services and infrastructure in the north east

On 23rd January 2019 Lord Teverson asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they are taking to improve rail service reliability in 2019.” The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Christine Hardman, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Newcastle: My Lords, the latest quarterly statistics released from the Office of Rail and Road show that the London North Eastern Railway has suffered its worst punctuality levels in over a decade and came second—not an honour—on the list of the 10 worst train services for punctuality. As my noble friend Lord Cormack said, we had hopes for the new Azuma trains, but there is a lack of investment in infrastructure in the north—the signalling systems north of York are over 30 years old. Will the Minister tell us when the necessary infrastructure works will take place in order for these trains to run as they should to serve the people of the north-east and Scotland?

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Bishop of Carlisle asks Government about greening of towns and cities

On 5th December 2018 Baroness Randerson asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they are taking to raise awareness among the general public of the health impacts of emissions from diesel vehicles.” The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, does the Minister agree that, while electric cars are being developed, trees, plants, shrubs and especially hedges can make a very useful contribution to the absorption of harmful emissions, as well as having a therapeutic value for those who grow them and those who enjoy them? Can he tell us of any plans the Government may have to encourage the greening of our towns and cities? Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle asks Government about greening of towns and cities”

Bishop of Winchester questions Government about overcrowding on the railways

On the 29th of October Baroness Randerson asked an oral question in the House of  Lords about the steps the government were taking to modernise rail fares.  The Rt Revd Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester, asked a supplementary question: 

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The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, the modernising of rail fares is one aspect of a range of changes needed in our rail service. The Transport Secretary has announced £1.3 billion of investment in spacious trains yet despite this there is still overcrowding, cancellation and delay. Staff operating train services are also unhappy and just last week, on the South Western Railway line that I use regularly, I am afraid that there were regular cancellations and further overcrowding. Can the Minister outline what action will be taken between now and the implementation of the rail review reforms in 2020 to address the urgent issues of rail cancellations, delays and significant overcrowding?

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Bishop of Leeds asks Government about investment in north of England railway links

On 24th July 2018  Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty’s Government “when they intend to update the cost estimate and business case for HS2 Phase One.” The Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, would the Minister agree that there is a problem if you can get up north 20 minutes quicker but you cannot get anywhere once you get there, and that any business case will have to take on board massive infrastructure improvements in the north of England? Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks Government about investment in north of England railway links”

Bishop of Southwark describes commuter rail services in his diocese as unreliable, expensive and inadequate

On 17th July 2018 Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty’s Government “what progress has been made in the inquiry by the Office of Rail and Road, led by Stephen Glaister, into the implementation of the new railway timetables on 20 May”. The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, asked a follow up question:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: Noble Lords should be aware that my diocese extends across most of south London and east Surrey. Since the availability of employment and the affordability of housing are at an increasing distance from each other for a great and growing proportion of the population, people need a rail system of adequate capacity, affordable to their means, which is utterly reliable and efficient in its running. Does the Minister accept that the current arrangements do not deliver these criteria? Is there a proper sense of urgency about addressing this matter? Continue reading “Bishop of Southwark describes commuter rail services in his diocese as unreliable, expensive and inadequate”