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Railways: Finance

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 21 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what plans he has to increase capital expenditure on rail links as part of the Government's plans to create up to 100,000 new jobs through public works; (248743)

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of jobs that will be created by increased funding for new rail links in (a) 2009, (b) 2010 and (c) 2011 under the Government's plans to create up to 100,000 new jobs through public works; and what proportion of those jobs he estimates will go to British workers.

The July 2007 Rail White Paper set out the Government's commitment of £10 billion towards increasing capacity on the rail network over the next five years, including improvements to the infrastructure.

In the pre-Budget report in November, the Government announced that they are bringing forward £3 billion of capital spending from 2010-11 to 2008-09 and 2009-10. The package included £300 million to accelerate the delivery of up to 200 new carriages to expand capacity on the rail network and an extra £54 million to help enhance the North London rail line to increase the long-term freight capacity of this vital cross-London rail route.

It is not yet possible to say how many jobs will be created in developing rail links in the next three years but British suppliers will be well placed to compete for this work.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the answer of 24 November 2008, Official Report, column 1097W, what the reasons are for the differential treatment of light rail and non-light rail local transport schemes; and if he will make a statement. (249327)

The reason for the difference in local contribution requirements is due to the scale, complexity and cost of light rail projects and the importance of ensuring commitment from promoters.