|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) if EU state aid rules allow the Government (a) to provide initial financial support to Network Rail and (b) to provide subsequent, additional aid through the standby facilities from the Strategic Rail Authority; 
Mr. Jamieson: The Government will make sure that any state aid provided to Network Rail, if it is successful in its bid to acquire Railtrack plc, is fully compatible with the EC Treaty, bearing in mind the rescue and restructuring guidelines and also articles 73 and 86(2) of the Treaty. That is equally true of any initial financial support and any standby facilities.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions whether the Strategic Rail Authority expects Network Rail's business plan to require an interim review. 
Mr. Jamieson: Any decision to apply to the rail regulator for an interim review would be a matter for Network Rail, if the company succeeds in its bid to acquire Railtrack plc and becomes network operator.
Mr. Jamieson: In common with other companies, Network Rail's management would be responsible to the company's board and also to the membership. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State made clear when he outlined the structure of a possible company limited by guarantee, in his reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Preston (Mr. Hendrick) on 23 October 2001, Official Report, columns 195W-97W, management would need to be properly incentivised to deliver a quality rail network. Discussions are continuing on the company's incentive
15 May 2002 : Column 677W
proposals. Finally, if Network Rail succeeds in its bid to become network operator, the company would, like Railtrack, be subject to the regulatory system.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) which members of Network Rail's management team have previous management experience in the heavy rail industry; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) who will be responsible for the recruitment of board members to Network Rail; 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what information he has received from the Office of National Statistics about the status of debt raised by Network Rail. 
Mr. Jamieson: The ONS took a preliminary view in October 2001 that the proposed company limited by guarantee described to them at that time would not be classified within the public sector. The ONS will take a view upon the Network Rail proposals once negotiations are completed.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions who took the decision to recruit each of the directors of Network Rail; and if he will list the directors. 
Mr. Jamieson: When Network Rail was launched on 25 March 2002, the company announced that three non- executive directorsIan McAllister, Adrian Montague and Iain Coucherhad been appointed. These appointments were made on the initiative of the CLG bid team. Further appointments are a matter for Network Rail. Appointments to the CLG bid team were covered in my reply to the hon. Member on 12 February 2002, Official Report, column 213W.
Mr. Jamieson: London Underground currently has no surplus head office space. Over the last few years, as part of a controlled programme of disposal of surplus assets, London Underground has disposed of virtually all of its commercial office space which can be separated from the railway undertaking.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he expects (a) London Underground and the infrastructure companies to complete their draft final contracts for the London Underground and (b) to sign approval of the final contracts; what processes up to this latter stage are still to be (i) undertaken and (ii) completed; and if he will make a statement. 
15 May 2002 : Column 678W
There are a number of detailed processes which need to be completed prior to the contracts taking effect, in addition to putting in place the necessary finance, and securing safety and other regulatory clearances.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the legal status of the financial guarantees by the Government to the Railtrack administrator will be if administration lasts beyond 30 September. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Government's guarantee of Railtrack plc's commercial borrowing will continue in full force and effect until all guaranteed borrowing has been repaid. Under the terms of the commercial loan agreement Railtrack plc's commercial borrowing must be repaid no later than 23 September 2002.
Mr. Jamieson: Network Rail said at the time of making a bid for Railtrack plc that, if accepted, Railtrack could be released from administration by the end of July. Network Rail has not indicated that its timetable has changed. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has repeatedly said that this is a challenging time scale.
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment his Department's Health committee on the medical effects of air pollutants has made to aldehydes in the last five years; what conclusions have been drawn; and if he will make a statement. 
In December 2000, the Department's committee on the medical effects of air pollutants (COMEAP) published a statement on the effects on health of aldehydes in ambient air. The statement reflected the committee's conclusions of the evidence of the effects on health of aldehydes.
15 May 2002 : Column 679W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|