Anna Soubry (Broxtowe) (Con)
The hon. Gentleman is two years younger than I am, so he will well remember the state in which the railways used to be. Does he not agree that we have seen a terrific improvement in the quality of the trains, the service and the attitude of the staff? An excellent service has been developing; would he agree that that is because of privatisation? Would he further agree that investment in our railways is at a record high?
I regret that many passengers’ experiences do not match the right hon. Lady’s experience. The evidence is that people are dissatisfied with the services they receive throughout the country. I respectfully suggest to her that going back over things in the way she is doing is not helpful. Had British Rail received public investment at the rate at which the Treasury has poured investment into the private operators, we would have had a gold-standard railway in this country.
I really want to make progress because a lot of people want to speak.