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Railways: European Services

Volume 711: debated on Wednesday 10 June 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions have taken place with rail operators in other European Union countries on expanding destinations for European services using High Speed 1. [HL4074]

The Government are keen to encourage competition on High Speed 1 from 2010 and to expand the number of European destinations available by rail from the UK. Discussions have been held with rail operators in a number of other European Union countries on providing such services. These discussions are ongoing. It will be for the future operator of High Speed 1 to market the railway and to agree terms of access with international train operators.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government who will be responsible for regulating applications by open access operators for providing additional rail services from the United Kingdom to Europe following the sale of High Speed 1 and Eurostar United Kingdom; and what steps will be taken to encourage additional or alternative rail services through the Channel Tunnel. [HL4076]

Potential open-access operators that wish to utilise High Speed 1 will negotiate access rights with the holder of the concession to operate the railway. Before 1 October 2009, any such negotiations would be supervised by the Department for Transport; from that date, they would be supervised by the Office of Rail Regulation. The High Speed 1 concession will incentivise the concessionaire to encourage new operators to offer international services through the Channel Tunnel.