Skip to main content

British Rail

Volume 164: debated on Thursday 21 December 1989

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will meet the chairman of British Rail to discuss the disposal of British Rail land in Nottingham;(2) what rate of return he requires from British Rail on the sale of derelict land holdings;(3) what rules apply to the sale of British Rail land and the putting out to tender of such land.

The disposal of British Rail land is the responsibility of the British Rail Property Board (BRPB). The board's objectives require it to manage its operational property in accordance with best commercial practice, and to identify and divest itself of all underused or surplus land and property as rapidly as possible, at a proper commercial price.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will meet the chairman of British Rail to discuss the electrification of the midlands main line.

My right hon. Friend meets the chairman of British Rail regularly. We welcome worthwhile proposals for electrification schemes. I understand that British Rail has no plans to electrify the midland main lines at present.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what correspondence he has had with British Rail regarding the sale of land in Nottingham;(2) what fiduciary duties apply to the sale of British Rail land.

My right hon. Friend has had no such correspondence. The objectives for the British Rail Property Board require it to secure a proper commercial price when disposing of underused or surplus land.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will place in the Library a copy of the exchange of letters between British Rail and Eurorail referred to in his reply to the right hon. Member for Tonbridge and Mailing of 27 November, Official Report, column 81.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what points he will require to be satisfied before giving his approval to the detailed shareholders' agreement for the joint venture between British Rail and Eurorail.

I shall wish to be satisfied that the proposed joint venture offers value for money for British Rail, for the public and for the taxpayer. The details will depend on the ground to be covered by the agreement.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much direct funding has been provided by Her Majesty's Government to British Rail for (a) capital investment and (b) revenue subsidy in each year from 1980–81 to 1989–90 and projected for 1990–91, all expressed at constant prices.

Her Majesty's Government do not usually provide direct funding for British Rail's capital investment programme, but the public service obligation grants meets the difference between costs and revenues for grant supported services. Eligible costs include depreciation, a supplement to fund capital renewals, and interest. Grant therefore provides support for capital investment, but grant is not allocated to particular categories of expenditure. The figures for "rail" investment and for revenue subsidy (PSO and level crossings grants paid in each financial year) are as follows, in £ million and at constant 1989–90 prices:

Year

Rail investment

Revenue subsidy

19795261,040
19805371,035
19814391,262
19823571,222
19833521,202
1984

1374

1,110
1985–864981,060
1986–87482912
1987–88604915
1988–89609

2590

1989–90

2691

3517

41990–91

962462

1 1984–85 was a 15 month financial period. The figure shown for 1984 is the 12 month equivalent.

2 Current forecast.

3 PSO cash ceiling plus estimate for level crossings grant.

4 Estimates.