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Channel Tunnel

Volume 124: debated on Monday 14 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will arrange consultations with British Rail on strengthening rail services to take advantage of the Channel tunnel.

The British Railways Board intends to take full advantage of the opportunities which the tunnel will bring. Section 40 of the Channel Tunnel Act 1987 requires the board to publish a plan by 31 December 1989 setting out its proposals for international services between various parts of the United Kingdom and the continent. I understand that there will be widespread consultations during the preparation of this plan.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what investment he proposes to make in British Rail services to take advantage of the Channel tunnel.

It is for the British Railways Board to make proposals for investment in Channel tunnel rail services. I expect to approve any investment that can be expected to earn a proper commercial rate of return.