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British Rail (Investment)

Volume 165: debated on Friday 19 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will make it his policy for new investment in British Rail to be judged on the basis of cost-benefit analysis.

The new objectives for British Rail, announced by my right hon. Friend last month, allow for the use of cost-benefit analysis where exceptionally investment which increases the asset base of the Network SouthEast and provincial sectors cannot meet the required rate of return of 8 per cent. This will enable the Government to decide whether capital grants would be justified on wider social and economic grounds. For BR's commercial sectors the Government see no case for subsidy and financial appraisal continues to be appropriate.