Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page


Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston : The 10-Year Plan anticipates a requirement for around £4 billion of investment in rail freight to support our target of 80 per cent growth in the volume of freight moved by rail. This investment will be required at locations throughout the network and will include gauge and capacity enhancements, new terminals and new rolling stock. Rail freight should also benefit from some passenger enhancement projects on the West Coast and East Coast Main Lines.

Decisions on which schemes to support are for the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority, which will publish its strategic plan later this year.

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The Rail Modernisation Fund will cover support for both passenger and freight infrastructure enhancements and lever-in a much greater amount of private capital. The split in spending between passenger and freight investment will depend on franchise replacement and will be strongly influenced by the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority's rail freight strategy. The Shadow SRA will publish its plan later this year.

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

27 Jul 2000 : Column WA82

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston : There is no mandatory requirement for the removal of Pacer units from the rail network.

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

    With reference to the 10-Year Plan, Transport 2010, what are the expected changes in the amount of domestic freight traffic carried by road between now and 2010:


    (1) as an absolute tonnage; and


    (2) as a share of the market;


    in both cases (a) without, and (b) with, the extra investment set out in the plan.[HL3655]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: Without the extra investment and other measures contained in the 10-Year Transport Plan, freight traffic in Great Britain carried by road, measured in tonne-kilometres, was forecast to increase by 24 per cent between 2000 and 2010. With the Plan, expected growth falls to 16 per cent.

Without 10-Year Plan measures, road freight's share of the overall market is expected to increase to approximately 67 per cent by 2010. With the plan, this share is projected to fall to approximately 63 per cent of the overall market.

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the investment and other spending set out in the 10-Year Plan, Transport 2010, will lead to through rail services for passengers from the North of England to the European mainland via the Channel Tunnel.[HL3656]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The 10-Year Plan does not include a particular provision for through rail services. It is the statutory duty of the British Railways Board to prepare a plan for international services, including through services, via the Channel Tunnel. The board is currently reviewing its 1989 plan and expects to update that plan within the next couple of months.

South-East Manchester and West Midlands Multi-Modal Studies

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they expect that the reports of the West Midlands to North West (M.6) and south-east Manchester multi-modal studies will be published.[HL3799]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The South East Manchester Multi-Modal Study is expected to report to the North West Regional Assembly in Spring 2001. The West Midlands to North West Multi-Modal

27 Jul 2000 : Column WA83

Study is expected to report to the North West Regional Assembly and West Midlands Regional Planning Body in Autumn 2001.

West Coast Main Line: Future Freight Capacity

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What proportion of the increased capacity that will result from the modernisation of the West Coast Main Line is intended or expected to be made available for freight traffic.[HL3654]

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The West Coast Main Line (WCML) upgrade is intended to produce a further 42 freight paths per day in each direction between north-west London and the West Midlands, the North West and Scotland. These will be above and beyond the present level of freight traffic and commensurate with the passenger service enhancements to be brought about through the Virgin West Coast contract and the broad level of services operated by the other existing WCML operators.

Millennium Dome: Building and Infrastructure Costs

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the total cost of the construction of the Millennium Dome broken down to show the costs of clearance and preparation of the site, the construction of the building itself and ancillary works such as access roads and parking facilities. [HL3669]

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): We have contacted the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC), as owners of the Dome structure, and English Partnerships (EP), as owners of the site, to request the information required, and I will write to the noble Lord as soon as it is available, placing copies of my letter in the Library of the House.

Amendments to Bills

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many of their amendments to Government Bills were agreed to by the House of Lords in each of the parliamentary Sessions 1997-98 and 1998-1999; and how many amendments which the Government opposed were agreed to. [HL3168]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The information requested is not available. However, I would refer the noble Lord to the Public Bill Sessional Statistics for the Parliamentary Sessions 1997-98 and 1998-99, which are available from the Library of the House.

27 Jul 2000 : Column WA84

NMEC: Retention of Simmons & Simmons

Lord Luke asked Her Majesty's Government:

    For what purpose the New Millennium Experience Company called in lawyers from Simmons & Simmons to provide them with assistance and advice. [HL3592]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) appointed Simmons & Simmons in April 2000 to provide advice on a wide range of corporate governance issues.

Millennium Dome

Lord Luke asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they informed M. Gerbeau that the Dome project was on budget when he was engaged as Chief Executive to the New Millennium Experience Company in February; and, if so, on what basis; and[HL3593]

    Whether they accept the estimate made by M. Gerbeau that the budget of the New Millennium Experience Company was £26 million adrift when he became chief executive.[HL3594]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Following M. P-Y Gerbeau's appointment on 7 February 2000, his priorities were to fix the product on offer to visitors and to make the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) into an efficient service business. He has achieved those two aims. In parallel with the changes he introduced to the product and the business, he instituted a complete review of budgets. The outcome of that review indicated a potential cost overspend by the end of the year of £26 million unless measures were introduced to stem expenditure and find savings. Through the introduction of measures to increase revenue and by driving down costs, NMEC is confident that costs can be brought back to the original £758 million ceiling. Under the terms of the grant agreement between NMEC and the Millennium Commission, the commission is required to approve the company's budgets. The commission accepted the outcome of the budget review and has ongoing discussions with the company about cost efficiencies and cost savings.

The nature of the discussions prior to the appointment of M. Gerbeau as Chief Executive and the basis on which he agreed to take up the post are matters between him and the board of the company. I understand that the discussions focused on the operational and business organisation aspects of the project, as they were the critical priorities at the time.

Lord Luke asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have approved the decision by the New Millennium Experience Company to revise their budget, which now shows that they expect to receive a minimum of £30 million from the Millennium Dome site instead of the original figure of £15 million.[HL3595]

27 Jul 2000 : Column WA85

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: When the budget was set in early 1997, the Millennium Experience at Greenwich was envisaged as a one-year exhibition, following which the Dome would be dismantled. The estimated disposal value of the Dome at that time was £15 million. In June 1997, this Government gave the Dome project the go-head with five key commitments one of which was that it should have a lasting legacy in terms of the regeneration of the Greenwich peninsula. Once the competition to establish a future use for the Dome was under way, NMEC revised the estimate in their budget to £30 million.


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page