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Humber Bridge Board

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

Officials from my Department have had frequent and regular discussions with the Humber bridge board on a range of issues. The most recent discussions took place on 19 June, on the restructuring of the Humber bridge debt.

I thank my right hon. Friend for her answer, and welcome her to her new position. I appreciate that the debt has been restructured, but will she confirm that that means that the board will retain more money, which could potentially be invested in local transport initiatives such as concessions for people travelling to Hull hospitals for cancer treatment?

I congratulate my hon. Friend on all the work that she has done in this area, not least with the rather splendid Bill that she promoted some time ago.

It is for the Humber bridge board to decide what to do with the £16.5 million or so that is available following the debt restructuring. If the board wanted to offer concessionary fares we would certainly consider its proposals, but we would have to be assured that it could meet its financial obligations. My hon. Friend might like to consider whether local health authorities would be interested in working with the board to enable people to be transported to hospital.