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Humber Bridge

Volume 115: debated on Tuesday 5 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is the amount of Government loans now owing by the Humber Bridge Board; and what proposals he has for writing them down.

The latest published accounts show that at 31 March 1986 the debt on the bridge was made up as follows:

Department of Transport199,733,310
Public Works Loans Board45,894,761
Temporary Loans10,390,000
In their response last July to the report on tolled estuarial crossings by the Select Committee on Transport, the Government acknowledged that the Humber bridge was a special case, and that proposals for dealing with its financial problems were still awaited from the Humber bridge board. Officials from the Department and the board have produced jointly an analysis of various measures, including the write-off of some debt, which might be adopted to tackle the financial problems of the bridge. This should help the board to decide what proposals to put to me, and then provide an agreed basis for discussion. We will consider reasonable and realistic ways of putting the bridge finances on a sound footing. It is for the board to produce proposals as it has sole responsibility for managing the bridge.