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Railways Bill

This is the text of the Railways Bill, as presented to the House of Commons on 17th January 2001.

Railways Bill




Require the Secretary of State to inquire into and make a report to Parliament on the future ownership, control and management of railway infrastructure.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

Inquiry into railway infrastructure.     1. - (1) The Secretary of State shall hold an inquiry into the ownership, control and management of railway infrastructure in the United Kingdom, in accordance with the requirements of this section.
      (2) The inquiry shall examine the effects of the existing system of ownership, control and management of railway infrastructure on-
    (a) the public finances;
    (b) levels of investment in railway services;
    (c) the efficiency and effectiveness of railway services;
    (d) the cost and safety of railway passenger services and services for the carriage of goods by railway; and
    (e) such other matters as the Secretary of State may prescribe.
      (3) The inquiry shall consider whether alternative systems of ownership, control and management of railway infrastructure would provide greater benefits than the existing system in relation to the matters set out in subsection (2).
      (4) The inquiry shall take into account the views of-
    (a) users of railway passenger services;
    (b) users of services for the carriage of goods by railway;
    (c) operators of railway assets; and
    (d) such other persons or organisations as the Secretary of State thinks appropriate.
Report of inquiry.     2. - (1) The Secretary of State shall-
    (a) lay copies of the report of the inquiry before each House of Parliament; and
    (b) make the report of the inquiry publicly available by such other means as he sees fit,
       within two years of the date of commencement of this Act.
Inquiry procedure: supplementary.     3. The Secretary of State may by direction make provision supplemental to that contained in sections 1 and 2 in relation to the procedure to be followed by the inquiry.
Interpretation.     4. In this Act-
    "goods" and "railway passenger service" have the meanings given by section 83 of the Railways Act 1993;
    "railway asset" has the meaning given by section 6 of that Act;
    "railway infrastructure" means a railway asset other than a train.
Financial provisions.     5. There shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament any expenditure incurred by the Secretary of State in consequence of this Act.
Short title and extent.     6. - (1) This Act may be cited as the Railways Act 2001.
      (2) This Act extends only to England and Wales and Scotland.

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© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 14 March 2001