On 4 February 2010, Liberal Democrat MP Alan Beith led an adjournment debate on the East Coast Main Line rail service in Northumberland.
He urged the government to reduce fares on the line, which was nationalised in November 2009.
"Unless we ensure that ticket prices are more competitive than air travel, we will continue to encourage people to make long car journeys, which they must do in my part of the world to get to an airport, which is inconsistent with general government policy," he argued.
He also called for improved infrastructure to enable better access to trains and stations for people with disabilities.
Summing up, he told MPs: "Not many people have to travel 50 or 60 miles to get to a main hospital, to go to a theatre that is not a small local arts centre or to visit all the main chain shops, but that is the situation in north Northumberland."