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Dr. Howells: Yes, indeed. I am happy to repeat that, although I know that the hon. Gentleman will not want me to go on about it because he asked questions about timetabling, among other things. I want to try to answer them. However, I will say that one of the most extraordinary things that I found in Japan is the fact that between the first running of the Bullet train—the Shinkansen—in 1963 and this year, the number of people killed was nil. No one has died on those trains.

I was fascinated by how the Japanese approach health and safety. They focus very much on reducing risk. We know that, unfortunately, because of the immense complication of how safety works in this country—this is not a fault of individuals who work in these sectors nor often of the systems of the individual agencies—there is gold-plating, and the hon. Gentleman is right to talk about it. There are company standards, group standards and bodies of all kinds out there whose responsibilities sometimes overlap. As a consequence, the costs are very high.

This is easy for me to say as I am a politician and I can use these glib phrases as easily as anybody else, but we ought to concentrate far more on basic functions involving the protection of passenger welfare and of staff who work on the railways. We could be saving quite a lot of money there, or at least redirect that money to ensure that we have the safest railways in the world.

The hon. Gentleman mentioned Oxford and having to change trains. Nothing is more irritating for people than having to change after they have had a through service. I want to deal with that in more detail, then I will sit down. I have noted the hon. Gentleman's concerns, and I am aware of the press release issued by the hon. Member for Mid-Worcestershire expressing his concerns about the effect of the proposed timetable changes on the services along the Cotswold line and

3 Mar 2004 : Column 1026

along the line that runs to Birmingham. Thames Trains currently provides six weekday services between Great Malvern and London Paddington in each direction, and First Great Western provides three services in each direction. The SRA has agreed to a two-hourly Adelante service from Great Malvern to Paddington, increasing the number of through Great Malvern to Paddington services from the current nine to 12. Eight of those will be formed of InterCity 125 stock, compared with just three at present. In alternate hours, a Turbo service will run from Great Malvern to Oxford for connection into the Adelante services, which is what has been worrying the hon. Gentleman. Adelantes offer more comfort, with five-car trains, against the three-car 166 Turbos. They also offer a lower-density seat formation, and virtually all the Oxford services will be upgraded to 125 mph InterCity stock.

That represents a significant improvement in the quality of rolling stock and service at certain Cotswold line stations, including Great Malvern, but while the number of services along the route as a whole remains the same, the hon. Gentleman is right that there is a small reduction in through services.

The higher-speed rolling stock will improve journey times, including on some services where a change at Oxford will be necessary. The proposed timetable is not fixed yet—I have a copy of it here, and the hon. Gentleman is welcome to take a look at it if he wants—but it appears to me, as a fascinated amateur, that it is a better timetable. Obviously, he must make that judgment, as he has constituents to represent. I give him the undertaking, however, that I will ensure that the SRA sees the transcript of this debate so that it knows exactly where the weaknesses are in the links. I know that the hon. Member for Mid-Worcestershire has already made the SRA very much aware of his worries, because I have read a copy of the letter that he wrote to Mr. Richard Bowker of the SRA. He is an intelligent man and is determined to put the railways right, and he probably knows trouble when he sees it. He will therefore be able to answer those questions for himself.

I thank the hon. Member for West Worcestershire for raising this matter, and I hope that we can work together to try to improve services for his constituents.

Question put and agreed to.

Adjourned accordingly at six minutes past Eight o'clock.

3 Mar 2004 : Column 1025

3 Mar 2004 : Column 1027

Deferred Division

Prevention and Suppression of Terrorism

The House divided: Ayes 370, Noes 49.

Division No. 71


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Alexander, Douglas
Allen, Graham
Ancram, rh Michael
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Arbuthnot, rh James
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Bailey, Adrian
Baldry, Tony
Barker, Gregory
Barnes, Harry
Baron, John (Billericay)
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Beckett, rh Margaret
Begg, Miss Anne
Beggs, Roy (E Antrim)
Bell, Sir Stuart
Bellingham, Henry
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Bercow, John
Berry, Roger
Blackman, Liz
Blair, rh Tony
Blizzard, Bob
Blunkett, rh David
Blunt, Crispin
Borrow, David
Boswell, Tim
Bottomley, Peter (Worthing W)
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Bryant, Chris
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Burns, Simon
Burnside, David
Burt, Alistair
Byers, rh Stephen
Cairns, David
Cameron, David
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Campbell, Ronnie (Blyth V)
Casale, Roger
Cash, William
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Challen, Colin
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)
Chaytor, David
Clapham, Michael
Clappison, James
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, rh Charles (Norwich S)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Collins, Tim
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cormack, Sir Patrick
Corston, Jean
Cranston, Ross
Crausby, David
Cruddas, Jon
Cryer, Ann (Keighley)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, rh Dr. Jack (Copeland)
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Curry, rh David
Curtis-Thomas, Mrs Claire
Dalyell, Tam
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
Davies, Quentin (Grantham & Stamford)
Dean, Mrs Janet
Dhanda, Parmjit
Djanogly, Jonathan
Dobbin, Jim (Heywood)
Dodds, Nigel
Donaldson, Jeffrey M.
Donohoe, Brian H.
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Drown, Ms Julia
Duncan, Peter (Galloway)
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Ennis, Jeff (Barnsley E)
Evans, Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Farrelly, Paul
Field, Mark (Cities of London & Westminster)
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flook, Adrian
Foulkes, rh George
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike (Ilford S)
Gardiner, Barry
Garnier, Edward
George, rh Bruce (Walsall S)
Gibb, Nick (Bognor Regis)
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gillan, Mrs Cheryl
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Goggins, Paul
Goodman, Paul
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian (Ashford)
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Gummer, rh John
Hague, rh William
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hamilton, David (Midlothian)
Hamilton, Fabian (Leeds NE)
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Hawkins, Nick
Heald, Oliver
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hendry, Charles
Heppell, John
Hermon, Lady
Hesford, Stephen
Hewitt, rh Ms Patricia
Heyes, David
Hinchliffe, David
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Hopkins, Kelvin
Horam, John (Orpington)
Howard, rh Michael
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hughes, Beverley (Stretford & Urmston)
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hutton, rh John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Eric
Jack, rh Michael
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Alan (Hull W)
Johnson, Boris (Henley)
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Jon Owen (Cardiff C)
Jones, Kevan (N Durham)
Jones, Lynne (Selly Oak)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Keen, Alan (Feltham)
Kelly, Ruth (Bolton W)
Kemp, Fraser
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Kirkbride, Miss Julie
Knight, rh Greg (E Yorkshire)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lansley, Andrew
Lawrence, Mrs Jackie
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lepper, David
Leslie, Christopher
Letwin, rh Oliver
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Liddell, rh Mrs Helen
Lidington, David
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Loughton, Tim
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
Luke, Iain (Dundee E)
Lyons, John (Strathkelvin)
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDougall, John
McGrady, Eddie
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIntosh, Miss Anne
McIsaac, Shona
Mackay, rh Andrew
McKechin, Ann
McKenna, Rosemary
Mackinlay, Andrew
McLoughlin, Patrick
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mahon, Mrs Alice
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Martlew, Eric
Mates, Michael
Mawhinney, rh Sir Brian
May, Mrs Theresa
Mercer, Patrick
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Alan
Miliband, David
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Moran, Margaret
Morgan, Julie
Morley, Elliot
Moss, Malcolm
Mountford, Kali
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, rh Paul (Torfaen)
Murrison, Dr. Andrew
Norman, Archie
Norris, Dan (Wansdyke)
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Olner, Bill
O'Neill, Martin
Organ, Diana
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Owen, Albert
Paice, James
Paisley, Rev. Ian
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Pond, Chris (Gravesham)
Portillo, rh Michael
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Prescott, rh John
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Quin, rh Joyce
Randall, John
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Redwood, rh John
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Reid, rh Dr. John (Hamilton N & Bellshill)
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Robinson, Mrs Iris (Strangford)
Robinson, Peter (Belfast E)
Rosindell, Andrew
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Roy, Frank (Motherwell)
Ruane, Chris
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Salter, Martin
Sarwar, Mohammad
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Selous, Andrew
Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian
Sheridan, Jim
Simmonds, Mark
Simpson, Keith (M-Norfolk)
Singh, Marsha
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Geraldine (Morecambe & Lunesdale)
Smith, Jacqui (Redditch)
Smyth, Rev. Martin (Belfast S)
Soley, Clive
Spellar, rh John
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Spicer, Sir Michael
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Squire, Rachel
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stevenson, George
Stewart, David (Inverness E & Lochaber)
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Streeter, Gary
Stringer, Graham
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Swayne, Desmond
Swire, Hugo (E Devon)
Syms, Robert
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Tapsell, Sir Peter
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Tredinnick, David
Trend, Michael
Trickett, Jon
Trimble, rh David
Turner, Dr. Desmond (Brighton Kemptown)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Vaz, Keith (Leicester E)
Vis, Dr. Rudi
Walley, Ms Joan
Walter, Robert
Ward, Claire
Waterson, Nigel
Watkinson, Angela
Watson, Tom (W Bromwich E)
Watts, David
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Wiggin, Bill
Willetts, David
Williams, Betty (Conwy)
Wilshire, David
Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Woodward, Shaun
Woolas, Phil
Worthington, Tony
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)
Wyatt, Derek
Yeo, Tim (S Suffolk)
Young, rh Sir George


Allan, Richard
Baker, Norman
Barrett, John
Beith, rh A. J.
Brake, Tom (Carshalton)
Breed, Colin
Burstow, Paul
Campbell, rh Sir Menzies (NE Fife)
Carmichael, Alistair
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Doughty, Sue
Ewing, Annabelle
Foster, Don (Bath)
George, Andrew (St. Ives)
Gidley, Sandra
Green, Matthew (Ludlow)
Harvey, Nick
Heath, David
Holmes, Paul
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Kennedy, rh Charles (Ross Skye & Inverness)
Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Lamb, Norman
Laws, David (Yeovil)
Llwyd, Elfyn
McNamara, Kevin
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury & Atcham)
Moore, Michael
Oaten, Mark (Winchester)
Öpik, Lembit
Price, Adam (E Carmarthen & Dinefwr)
Pugh, Dr. John
Reid, Alan (Argyll & Bute)
Rendel, David
Robertson, Angus (Moray)
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Salmond, Alex
Sanders, Adrian
Stunell, Andrew
Teather, Sarah
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Tonge, Dr. Jenny
Tyler, Paul (N Cornwall)
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Weir, Michael
Williams, Hywel (Caernarfon)
Wishart, Pete
Younger-Ross, Richard

Question accordingly agreed to.

3 Mar 2004 : Column 1030

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