|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
10 Jul 2002 : Column 982W
been completed in the last two years and (b) are under construction, giving the expected opening date, and (c) are being considered. 
Mr. Jamieson: No new east Thames river crossings have been completed in the last two years. A tunnel between Thurrock and Swanscombe is to be constructed as part of the channel tunnel rail link and is due to be completed by 2007.
Cross London Rail Links Ltd. (CLRL), a joint venture between Transport for London and the Strategic Rail Authority, is currently consulting on two options for a crossrail crossing between Canary Wharf and Woolwich (via the Royal Docks or Greenwich Peninsula/Charlton). The Mayor and TfL are also considering three possible river crossing schemes. They are as follows:
a bridge to the east of the Royal Docks, which would incorporate dedicated lanes for public transport;
a road bridge or tunnel between north Greenwich and Silvertown.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library the most recent statistics relating to customer satisfaction on the (a) DLR, (b) Tyne and Wear Metro, (c) Manchester Metrolink, (d) South Yorkshire Supertram, (e) Midland Metro and (f) Croydon Tramlink, with the source for each data set used. 
Mr. Jamieson: Information for (a) DLR, (b) Tyne and Wear Metro, (c) Manchester Metrolink, (e) Midland Metro and (f) Croydon Tramlink has been placed in the Libraries of the House. Information on customer satisfaction is not available for the South Yorkshire Supertram.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what date he expects to receive a response from the European Commission with regard to whether (a) the money and (b) the guarantees being provided by the Government are acceptable under state aid rules. 
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he plans to take following the Health and Safety report of 4 July into the Potters Bar rail accident; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 9 July 2002]: The HSE report of 4 July, copies of which are in the Libraries of the House, was a progress report on their continuing investigation into the accident. The report made a number of recommendations. The HSE will monitor the implementation of those recommendations. Railtrack's chief executive is drawing up plans to improve the way
10 Jul 2002 : Column 983W
Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority's (SRA) Strategic Plan sets out its short, medium and longer-term priorities, including a number of improvements to enhance rail services in the south-west. There is also funding available from the Rail Passenger Partnership scheme and Rail Performance Fund for regional and local initiatives.
Director of Ticketing
Transport for London
4250 Victoria Street
London SW1H 0TL.
Mr. Jamieson: "Capacity" has several definitions. For instance, it could mean the number of potential services, trains or passengers that could pass through the station, or simply the station size. The average number of national rail passengers passing through or disembarking at London Bridge station on weekdays during the morning peak (07001000) in each of the last three years is:
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the occasions on which he (a) has met and (b) plans to meet the (i) Chairman of the Strategic Railway Authority and (ii) Rail Regulator, stating for each occasion the purpose of the meeting. 
10 Jul 2002 : Column 984W
Mr. Jamieson: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport has met both the Chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority and the Rail Regulator since taking up this post, to discuss a wide range of issues relating to their work. He, and other departmental Ministers, will continue to do so as and when appropriate.
Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority is an executive non-departmental public body, whose accounts are not consolidated into the Department's accounts. Any grants paid by the Department to the authority are treated as programme expenditure in the Department's own accounts.
Mr. Jamieson: The statutory relationship between the Secretary of State and the Strategic Rail Authority is set out in the Transport Act 2000, the Railways Act 1993 and associated documentation, including directions and guidance from the Secretary of State and the SRA's Financial Framework.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the rights of commercial lenders to exercise repayment rights by the SRA, will be determined; and what guidance he has given to Network Rail about these rights. 
Mr. Jamieson: The rights of the commercial lenders are determined through commercially confidential loan agreements as and when they are entered into by the lenders and Network Rail. Details of the SRA standby support facilities are set out in commercial agreements between the SRA and Network Rail. It is not for the Secretary of State to give guidance to Network Rail on these matters.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if the Government have sought state aid clearance for the sums paid to Network Rail in order to establish the company and meet its initial costs prior to the completion of the takeover of the assets of Railtrack plc. 
10 Jul 2002 : Column 985W
for Railtrack plc by a company limited by guarantee is taken through to completion. This does not constitute a state aid.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the estimates of the total revenues for Network Rail for each of the next five years that he used in assessing the viability of the proposal to securitise revenues described in paragraph 12 of the Minute to Parliament. 
Mr. Jamieson: Network Rail's revenues will continue to receive the revenues determined by the regulator's October 2000 Periodic Review and the April 2001 agreement between Railtrack and Government, reflecting the amendments noted in the regulator's statement of 27 June 2002.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he proposes to amend the Financial Framework of the Strategic Rail Authority as provided for in paragraph 16 of Schedule 14 of the Transport Act 2000 following the issuing of the Minutes to Parliament and the House. 
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he applied to the European Commission for state aid approval for the (a) £300 million capital grant to Network Rail, Holdco Limited, (b) provision of £9 billion guarantee to Network Rail by the SRA, (c) provision of £10 billion of contingent funding for Network Rail, and (d) CTRL project. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 3 July 2002]: The financial support package which the Government has agreed to make available to Network Rail if it completes the acquisition of Railtrack plc was notified to the European Commission on 31 May 2002. That notification covered all of the elements of the funding set out in the two Minutes which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State laid before the House on 27 June 2002, and also the associated acquisitions of Railtrack Group's interests in the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in what circumstances commercial lenders will have the right to exercise the option described in note 2 on page 5 of the Network Rail Minute to Parliament. 
Mr. Jamieson: Commercial lenders of the bridge facilities have the right to require the SRA to purchase all amounts due to them from Network Rail Group in the event of the SRA defaulting on any obligation to make the standby loans available to Network Rail.
10 Jul 2002 : Column 986W
Mr. Jamieson: The details of the notification made to the European Commission in respect of the support which the Government has agreed to make available to Network Rail if it successfully completes the acquisition of Railtrack plc are confidential. However, the contingent liabilities which the Government would incur as a result of this support are set out in the two Minutes which were laid before the House by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 27 June 2002. These contingent liabilities are covered by the notification to the European Commission.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of Network Rail's future revenues he estimates will be securitised, as described in paragraph 12 of the Minute to Parliament. 
Mr. Jamieson: "Other sums" refers to additional amounts that may be payable that are customary in facilities of this type, such as break costs. Break costs are costs which may be incurred if (i) the loan is prepaid (ii) an interest period is shortened by virtue of the prepayment and (iii) lenders are adversely affected. It is not possible to quantify these amounts in advance as they would depend on circumstances at the time, for example the level of interest rates.
Mr. Jamieson: Government has been advised that Railtrack Group should be able to take advantage of the exemptions referred to in paragraph 25 of the Minute. This would ensure that, in all likelihood, Railtrack Group incurs no tax liability as a result of the Railtrack plc disposal.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the financing and funding of (a) RenewCo and (b) Network Rail for the purposes of what constitutes public expenditure under the assessment used by the Office for National Statistics. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Office for National Statistics takes independent decisions in matters concerning the classification, preparation and publication of statistics. ONS decisions are consistent with the principles of the international statistical manuals, European System of Accounts 1995 (ESA95) and the system of National Accounts 1993 (SNA93) and supporting manuals and case law.
10 Jul 2002 : Column 987W
On 5 October 2001 the Department was informed that the ONS had determined that Railtrack's scheme for a new special purpose vehicleRenewCowould be classified in the public sector, if set up as proposed. On 27 June 2002 the ONS announced that Network Rail would be classified as a private sector corporation once its board has been ratified by its membership and on 5 July, it announced that Network Rail's borrowing will be classified as private sector borrowing in the national accounts.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what role his Department will play in selecting a representative of the Strategic Rail Authority to sit on the board of Network Rail. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if the Government would allow the SRA to exceed the borrowing limit outlined in paragraph eight, sub-paragraph six of Schedule 14 of the Transport Act 2000 in order to meet its liabilities as outlined in paragraph 21 of the Network Rail Minute to the House. 
Mr. Jamieson: The provision of any funds necessary to meet the SRA's financial obligations would be made by way of grant under paragraph 7 of schedule 14 of the Transport Act 2000 or by permitting the SRA to borrow in accordance with paragraph 8 of that schedule. Whether, and the extent to which, the SRA would be allowed to borrow would be determined at the time. The SRA's borrowing could not exceed £3 billion without this limit being extended by statutory instrument, a draft of which had been approved by the House of Commons.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what commitments the SRA has made for the future grant scheme to Network Rail, as described in paragraph 14 of the Minute to Parliament; and for what amounts. 
Mr. Jamieson: The SRA have committed to provide Network Rail with grants to remunerate legacy costs incurred in the period 1 April 2001 to 30 September 2004, up to a cap of £5 billion, to the extent they are not recognised in an interim review. The regulator set out his proposed approach to an interim review in his statement of 27 June.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if the Government have made a financial provision for the potential additional costs arising from an increased settlement to Network Rail resulting from an interim review by the Rail Regulator. 
Mr. Jamieson: While the legacy of Railtrack and its cost overruns creates potential additional costs, the Government expects Network Rail to operate more efficiently than Railtrack with lower financing costs and a re-investment of operating surpluses back into the network. We cannot anticipate the outcome of the proposed interim review that would take all of these factors into account.
10 Jul 2002 : Column 988W
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list outputs to be specified by Railtrack's successor, as negotiated by the SRA, in exchange for the provision of the funding package to Railtrack's successor. 
The SRA and Network Rail have entered into various agreements in relation to the financial support and output and enhancement obligations, all operating alongside the existing regulatory arrangements. In particular, the outputs will be developed further through Network Rail's business planning process.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the guidance issued to the SRA by the Office for National Statistics in relation to the structure of the funding package for Network Rail. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|