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British Rail

Volume 205: debated on Tuesday 10 March 1992

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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.