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Rail Fares

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent changes (a) his Department and (b) the Strategic Rail Authority have made to (i) rail fare regulation and (ii) the regulation of network railcards; and what changes are planned. [45414]

Mr. Jamieson: No recent changes have been made to rail fare regulation. Network railcards are not regulated. The issue of rail fares and fare regulation will be dealt with through the Strategic Rail Authority's review of fares policy.

Railtrack

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to the answer of 6 March 2002, Official Report, column 370W, on Railtrack, if he will list the variety of other organisations referred to. [45498]

Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Transport on 8 February 2002, Official Report, column 1188W.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many meetings he has had with Ernst and Young as administrators of Railtrack since 1 January. [45451]

Mr. Byers: It is not the normal practice of the Government to release details of meetings or discussions with private individuals or companies.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when Railtrack in administration will repay the money lent to it since going into administration. [44232]

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Mr. Spellar [holding answer 18 March 2002]: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given today by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State to my hon. Friend the Member for Scarborough and Whitby (Lawrie Quinn) [ref. 45966].

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions on what date the Railtrack administrator is expected to repay the moneys advanced under the commercial loan agreement. [45298]

Lawrie Quinn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the current position of Railtrack plc in administration. [45966]

Mr. Byers: Following the European Commission's decision of 13 February 2002 to clear the package of financial assistance to Railtrack plc (in administration), the administrator has secured up to £4.4 billion of commercial banking facilities, backed by a Government guarantee. This is a clear demonstration of the willingness of the private sector to invest in the UK railway sector. It has enabled the administrator to repay, with interest, the £1.9 billion he has drawn down from the £2.1 billion short-term commercial loan that Government provided on 7 October 2001.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what discussions he has had with the Treasury on the tax treatment of share holdings in Railtrack. [45448]

Mr. Byers: My Department and the Treasury have had numerous discussions at a variety of levels in relation to Railtrack.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how much money has been (a) granted to, (b) lent to and (c) guaranteed for Railtrack since going into administration. [44233]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 18 March 2002]: I refer the right hon. Member to my answer of 12 March 2002, Official Report, column 917W.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how much the administration of Railtrack has cost the Government to date; and how much the Government have spent on (a) railway consultancy, (b) accountancy and (c) legal advice in the last five months. [44240]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 18 March 2002]: The total fees for the Administrator and his advisers were about £17.5million to the end of February 2002, which will be repaid when Railtrack comes out of administration. With regard to how much the Government have spent on railway consultancy, accountancy and legal advice, I refer the right hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister for Transport to the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling) on 12 March 2002, Official Report, column 916W.

Tinsley Viaduct

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what analysis has been carried out of alternative routes for traffic using the Tinsley viaduct; [44670]

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Mr. Byers: I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Tim Matthews, to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Tim Matthews to Mrs. Theresa May, dated 25 March 2002:













25 Mar 2002 : Column 657W

Heathrow

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what discussions he has had with interested parties following the publication of the Inspector's report on Heathrow terminals on the development of rail links from Heathrow to the West. [45425]

Mr. Byers: I have made clear that I expect BAA to comply with their commitments to encourage the introduction and use of additional public transport services to Heathrow. The conditions of the Terminal 5 planning permission provide safeguarding measures for future rail links to and from the west of Heathrow. The SRA is continuing discussions with BAA on all options for improved rail links, including those west of Heathrow.


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