Lord Polak debates involving the Department for Transport

There have been 4 exchanges involving Lord Polak and the Department for Transport

Wed 29th April 2020 Passenger Train Services (Lords Chamber) 3 interactions (60 words)
Wed 13th February 2019 Commercial Air Routes: United Kingdom and East Africa (Lords Chamber) 3 interactions (97 words)
Wed 2nd March 2016 Railways: Southern, Southeastern and Thameslink Franchises (Lords Chamber) 3 interactions (75 words)
Wed 27th January 2016 Religious Hate Crime (Lords Chamber) 3 interactions (118 words)

Passenger Train Services

Lord Polak Excerpts
Wednesday 29th April 2020

(11 months, 3 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber

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Department for Transport
Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton
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That is an incredibly important question. I am sure the noble Baroness will understand that we are considering all these issues at the moment. There will be regional variations according to which services are more likely to be used. There will also be variations with long-distance services and short-distance commuter routes. All these considerations are being put in. Also, when restarting public transport, one of the key things that we will have to do is look at local impacts—working with metro mayors, for example, and local transport authorities to make sure that they feed into the system and help us plan for their local economies, to get people back to work.

Lord Polak Portrait Lord Polak (Con)
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Decisions and actions have serious consequences in these days. While accepting that there were many factors and issues to consider, will my noble friend the Minister comment on whether her department was satisfied with the decision taken by the Mayor of London and Transport for London to reduce capacity on London Underground passenger trains at peak times, causing dangerous overcrowding?

Baroness Vere of Norbiton Portrait Baroness Vere of Norbiton
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The department was in close contact with TfL. Certainly, the reductions that it made had some consequences for overcrowding. Since then, we know that TfL has made significant changes to the morning service. It has applied station control measures and is working much more closely with the British Transport Police to make sure that overcrowding does not occur. We remain in close contact with TfL and, as importantly, as we restart the system, these issues will once again come to the fore.

Commercial Air Routes: United Kingdom and East Africa

Lord Polak Excerpts
Wednesday 13th February 2019

(2 years, 2 months ago)

Lords Chamber

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Department for Transport
Baroness Sugg Portrait Baroness Sugg
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My Lords, I was considering how noble Lords might be able to ask a question like that when we were talking about east African slots, but I had not considered that angle. We are interested in delivering real slots for real flights to new countries.

Lord Polak Portrait Lord Polak (Con)
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My Lords, it is not just about the slots but what sort of slots are made available to these new airlines. They are often at the worst times of day. British Airways does not fly directly to Rwanda, and RwandAir plugged the gap by flying to the UK three times a day, I think—or a week. The problem is planning, because when the slots are given, they are given for only six months at a time. What sort of business can plan for six months only? Can the Minister go back and give these slots for longer?

Baroness Sugg Portrait Baroness Sugg
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My Lords, my noble friend is quite right to point out that there are no direct BA flights to these countries. It does operate direct flights to Kenya and across the continent. In 2017, there were over 23,000 direct flights to Africa, carrying over 4.5 million passengers. My noble friend is quite right: the timing of the allocation of these slots is absolutely key. As with all businesses, airlines need to plan ahead. We are looking at that through our slot reform policy consultation.

Railways: Southern, Southeastern and Thameslink Franchises

Lord Polak Excerpts
Wednesday 2nd March 2016

(5 years, 1 month ago)

Lords Chamber

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Department for Transport
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
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My Lords, I acknowledge the challenges and issues that have arisen, particularly with these two franchises. I assure the noble Baroness that the Government are determined to hold those operating the franchises to account. That is why my honourable friend in the other place, the Minister for Rail, Claire Perry, meets the operators, together with the ORR, on a monthly basis to ensure that the requirements of the franchise are being met.

Lord Polak Portrait Lord Polak (Con)
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My Lords, my friends in Elstree and Borehamwood are never happy when I am on the Thameslink platform because, when I am there, there is always a delay or cancellation. Will the Minister support the action of the MP for Hertsmere, Oliver Dowden, in his campaign to get Thameslink to provide a much better service for the people of Hertsmere, who pay a lot of money to be packed like sardines in an often-late train?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
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I assure my noble friend that the delays are not down to his presence on the platform, as he brings to our attention the delays that we are seeing on these lines. As I have already said, the Government are committed both to holding those operating these franchises to account and to ensuring that, yes, there is greater investment. That is why the Government have committed to the investment of more than £1 billion in the improvements at London Bridge and beyond, and we are committed to ensure that by 2018 these improvements are felt by commuters. He is quite right to point out that the current service is not good enough.

Religious Hate Crime

Lord Polak Excerpts
Wednesday 27th January 2016

(5 years, 2 months ago)

Lords Chamber

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Department for Transport
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
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My Lords, the Government are clear that anyone who preaches any kind of hate has no place here, and I believe that all of us across this House unite on that. Bigotry has no place and any kind of hate, be it based on race, sexual orientation or religion, has no place in British society. The Government, our legal system and our police will stand against that. The noble Lord made brief reference to the Prime Minister’s message. My right honourable friend mentioned the holy personage of Jesus Christ, whom Muslims celebrate because, as the noble Lord well knows, Muslims also regard and revere the Prophet Jesus as a prophet of God.

Lord Polak Portrait Lord Polak (Con)
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My Lords, today is Holocaust Memorial Day—a day to remember those who perished and the brave soldiers who helped to liberate the camps, and to remember and pay tribute to the depleting band of survivors who spend their days educating young people. I also commend the Prime Minister for his announcement today that a fitting memorial will be erected adjacent to this House, in Victoria Tower Gardens. Does the Minister agree that, today of all days, we should acknowledge where hate crime can lead? Does he further agree that the vital task of the Prime Minister’s Holocaust foundation should be to concentrate on educating young people as, sadly, there will soon be no survivors to tell the story?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
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I join my noble friend in the sentiments he expressed. Indeed, I believe I speak for every Member of this House as we come together on this poignant day, when we remember those who passed away in the Holocaust—the victims of the biggest crime of genocide against humanity that we have seen in the world. We must work together, including on education. I am therefore proud that on entering my office in the Home Office, if you look to the right, the first certificate you will see is for the Anne Frank Trust UK, which does an incredible job in promoting Holocaust education. I praise the efforts of all organisations and the work of my noble friend in this respect.