Philip Dunne welcomes the Government announcement on improving access to high-speed internet in rural areas and calls for better connectivity on the rail network.
I echo the wide welcome for my right hon. Friend’s announcement from those Government Members who represent rural constituencies, as well as from some Opposition Members, excluding those on the shadow Front Bench, who do not know what “rural” means. My right hon. Friend referred to the emergency services network and making massive improvements to coverage in the road network, which is excellent. Could she also encourage the operators to improve the signal on our rail network? Many of us are unable to work while travelling to and from this place by rail.
I thank my right hon. Friend for that challenge. He is right; improving rail connectivity remains a significant ambition. I have spoken to the Secretary of State for Transport about that. There are some other challenges, but we are working out how we can do that. I am pleased to say that in the latest franchise, there was a greater requirement for on-board connectivity, and I hope that we will be able to see that throughout the network.