Seven days ago I wrote about how Sussex MPs have been asking questions in Parliament, each of which is estimated to cost us all, £164 on the same subject and getting the same answer over many months. The first question I spotted was seven months ago when Maria Caulfield (Conservative, Lewes) asked about the Brighton mainline. Then just over a week ago Henry Smith (Conservative, Crawley) asked an almost identical question and got an almost identical answer. Finally a week later Nicholas Soames (Conservative, Mid Sussex) has asked a similar question and amazingly the answer is almost identical and so all we have to show for these questions is a bill for £492. This is not exactly corruption but it is certainly an indication of the failure of our parliamentary system and lack of communication between neighbouring members of the same party. Of course it could be that Soames and Smith want to be able publish their innovative questions in their election material! So that would then be moving closer to corruption.
Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what investment and improvements he is planning on the London to Brighton line; and if he will make a statement.
Paul Maynard: The Government published the London South Coast Rail Corridor Study on 2 March 2017, which underlines the need for longer-term investment in capacity and performance improvements on the Brighton Mainline. We are continuing to work with Network Rail to define funding needs and a programme for future activity.
In addition, the Government has committed £300m to increase targeted maintenance and improve performance on Southern and Thameslink routes, including the Brighton Mainline, with works expected to be completed by Network Rail by December 2018.