To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what responsibility his Department has in relation to the finance, policy and operations of British Rail.
[holding answer 9 March 1992]: The Secretary of State's main responsibilities in relation to British Rail are:
- to appoint the chairman and board members, and determine their pay;
- to set overall policy and objectives for safety, quality and financial performance;
- to discharge various responsibilities on safety through Her Majesty's railway inspectorate;
- to set the external finance limit;
- to set an investment ceiling, and to approve major investment projects;
- to issue a public service obligation and to set an annual grant ceiling;
- to control borrowing;
- to decide on opposed proposals for the closure of stations and services; and
- to exercise various statutory controls on procedure and finance.