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Central London Rail Study

Volume 130: debated on Thursday 31 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 25 March, Official Report, column 264, if the central London rail study will take account of (a) his forthcoming announcement concerning the financial objectives of London Regional Transport, (b) the cross-rail proposals of the British Railways Board, published in November 1980 and (c) the type of cost-benefit analysis applied to capital investment on the Victoria line.

I expect to receive initial results from the central London rail study in July, in advance of setting any new objectives for London Regional Transport. The terms of reference are sufficiently wide to embrace any relevant scheme. Detailed appraisal of any such scheme will be in accordance with established appraisal criteria and techniques.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 25 March, Official Report, column 264, if he will make it his policy to direct the central London rail study to take account of, and report on (a) whether any benefits are to be obtained from increasing the volume of rolling stock and train staff on British Rail and London Underground Limited, (b) whether any benefits are to be gained by improvements in the standards of, and number of persons employed in maintenance of track, signalling and rolling stock of British Railways and London Underground Limited, (c) whether there are any benefits for line capacity and punctuality of more platform staff and (d) what are the costs and benefits of dual voltage electrification of the line from Willesden junction to Clapham junction.

The existing terms of reference expressly require the study to examine the scope for improving services and to have regard to the need to make the best use of existing assets.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer concerning the central London rail study of 25 March, Official Report, column 264,(a) which bodies or representatives, or other persons will constitute the membership of the review body, (b) which persons or bodies will be eligible to present evidence to the review body, (c) from which official or other bodies he expects the review body to receive information concerning future levels of passenger demand and if such information will be publicly available, (d) what assumptions the review body will be required to make concerning the level of fares relative to the general cost of living, and the method of ticketing or passes to be used within the Greater London travel-to-work area, (e) what assumptions the review will be required to take account of concerning strategic planning policies of Her Majesty's Government and county councils within the London travel-to-work area and its impact on the growth of daily passenger travel to and from and within London, and (f) what changes in travel demand or pattern the review will be required to take account of consequent on the plans of Her Majesty's Government for the de-regulation of bus services in the area now served by London Buses Limited.

The study will be conducted by LRT, BR and my officials. It is not envisaged that the study team will call for outside evidence. I have not laid down a set of assumptions for the study, but would expect the team to consider how variations in all major assumptions—particularly those relating to demand—would affect its conclusions.