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Railways: Channel Tunnel Freight

Volume 687: debated on Monday 18 December 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the answer by Lord Davies of Oldham on 6 December (HL Deb, col. 1157) on the Channel Tunnel, whether they have anything further to add on the subject of Government support for Channel Tunnel rail freight. [HL895]

Under the terms of the Channel Tunnel rail usage contract (RUC) and in line with the access charge provisions of the first European rail package, we have agreed that the British Railways Board (BRB) should continue to bear the UK freight allocation of Eurotunnel's operational expenses charges payable under the terms of the rail usage contract, as these represent overhead infrastructure costs not directly incurred as a result of operating the railway service.

To enable BRB to do this, we have made changes to the UK arrangements whereby those rights and obligations of BRB previously delegated exclusively to English, Welsh and Scottish Railway (EWSI) are now delegated on a non-exclusive basis and apply to any international freight train operator.

For the first year these charges will equate to approximately £6.5 million.