To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on line one of the Midland metro.
I strongly support the concept of the Midland metro line one. On present information, the scheme appears to meet the criteria for grant under section 56 of the Transport Act 1968. A decision on whether the project will be eligible for grant must await firm figures for capital costs based on tenders. I understand that the West Midlands passenger transport executive will be seeking tenders later this year. Provided the scheme meets the grant criteria in the light of these figures and provided sufficient resources are available, I can see no present reason why a grant for the construction of the project should not be made available at the appropriate time. The Government have already provided resources of £1·5 million for development work on the project. I am today authorising a further £3 million for development and preparatory work in the forthcoming financial year.