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Railways: Finance

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 5 February 2009, Official Report, column 50WS, on rail services, whether the fund for the provision of rail services promoted by local authorities or passenger transport authorities will come from the rail budget; how many projects he estimates will meet his Department’s criteria for funding in this manner; what representations he has received from local authorities on the number of projects that are likely to meet his Department’s criteria; whether capital projects designed to enhance capacity on the rail network will be applicable for such funding; and whether he plans to allow private sector organisations to bid for capital projects on the railways under the fund. (256765)

A fund for supporting rail services initially funded by local authorities and passenger transport executives (PTEs) will be formally established at the time the high level output specification for the period 2014-19 is published in 2012. As the fund has only just been announced, we have yet to receive representations from local authorities and therefore have no precise number of the projects likely to meet the Department for Transport’s criteria for funding from this initiative in the period 2014-19. This fund does not include capital funding for projects. Local authorities and regions can already recommend to Ministers that regional funding allocations can be used for investment in rail schemes.