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Volume 450: debated on Friday 20 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to make a statement on (a) funding for and (b) the operational start date of Thameslink. (95493)

My hon. Friend the Minister of State for Transport, announced the decision to grant legal powers and planning consents to Network Rail in respect of the Thameslink Programme on the 18 October 2006.

Thameslink is an important scheme, and will offer real benefits in terms of increased capacity on busy commuter routes to the north and south of London. However, a funding decision cannot be considered in isolation and will be considered over the next few months in the light of the emerging conclusions of the cross-government Comprehensive Spending Review and the development of the new High Level Output Specification for Network Rail.

The timing of the implementation of the project will follow from the conclusion of a decision on project funding.