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Volume 694: debated on Thursday 26 July 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Bassam of Brighton on 25 July (WA 97), whether the environmental targets set for prospective railway franchisees amount to a minimum standard that must be achieved. [HL5191]

Bidders on the Midlands franchises were required to set out their approach to the environment, including how they would plan to measure and reduce the environmental impact of the rail activities of the franchise including carbon emissions, air quality and noise, but also taking account of the need to conserve resources and to reduce waste and water/land contamination.

The Department for Transport (DfT) contractualised initiatives that had a positive environmental impact as committed obligations. If a franchisee fails to deliver, in full, a committed obligation, that would constitute a contravention to the franchise agreement.

For future franchises the DfT is seeking to set environmental targets that would be contractualised.