HC Deb 17 March 1986 vol 94 cc1-2
1. Mr. Spearing

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement concerning the current state of discussions on applications concerning the London docklands light railway and its proposed extension.

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Nicholas Ridley)

I have nothing further to add to what my hon. Friend the Minister of State told the House during the debate on the Second Reading of the London Docklands Railway (City Extension) Bill on 6 March, at columns 532–35.

Mr. Spearing

Does the Secretary of State recall that his hon. Friend told the House that public money would support the City extension of the docklands light railway, and that instead of requiring it to be privately run it would, if constructed, be run by London Regional Transport? Has the sum that will go towards this extension been agreed, and, whatever the amount, will it not mean a subsidy to the developers of Canary wharf?

Mr. Ridley

The negotiations are not yet complete and, therefore, I cannot tell the hon. Gentleman the outcome. However, there are two elements to the cost of the westward extension to the Bank—the capital cost and the profit or loss of operating the railway in the public sector. I confirm that it will be operated in the public sector.

Mr. Mikardo

Is the Docklands Light Railway Company taking any steps to ascertain views on its proposals from the people in the area in which the railway will operate? If not, will he suggest that it would be in the company's best interests to seek to meet representatives of the organisations that represent those people?

Mr. Ridley

I do not know what the body is to which the hon. Gentleman refers. The procurer of the initial railway is the London Docklands Development Corporation. The transport users' consultative committee arrangements will also apply when the railway comes into operation.