asked the Minister of Transport if he will make a statement on the latest developments in contacts between his Department, the Greater London Council, the Essex county council and London Transport designed to reach agreement on the provision of financial help from public funds intended to assist the Epping-Ongar section of the Central Line.
The position has not changed since I met the hon. Member and the local authorities concerned on 27 November 1979. The Government remain willing to consider sympathetically for the purposes of determining transport supplementary grant in future years any contribution which Essex county council may choose to make towards meeting the losses incurred on London Transport rail services in the county. That grant is the appropriate channel for Government support which is, in effect, on offer to the county. I understand that Essex county council has refused to make any revenue support contribution to these services in 1980–81; and that the Greater London Council has accordingly asked London Transport to consider alternative ways of reducing its losses on these services.