HC Deb 09 November 1987 vol 122 cc11-2
10. Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he last met the chairman of British Rail; and what issues were discussed.

Mr. Channon

Last week. We discussed a variety of railway matters.

Mr. Jones

When the Secretary of State next meets the chairman of British Rail, will he discuss with him the state of the north Wales railway line between Holyhead and Crewe? Will he stress the importance of that line, not only to passengers, but to industry, in view of the expected increase in the volume of road traffic from January 1988 when B and I shifts part of its operations to the port of Holyhead? Will he use his influence with the chairman of British Rail and urge him to include in his medium-term strategy plans to electrify the north Wales line and in the short term to include plans to upgrade the line and improve the quality of the rolling stock?

Mr. Channon

As the hon. Gentleman asks me to do so, naturally I shall discuss that matter with the chairman of British Rail, but, as my hon. Friend the Minister pointed out, for any programme of electrification—I know that the hon. Gentleman has been in correspondence about this—it is for British Rail to make proposals to me. I have received none, but naturally I shall be happy to approve any proposal that offers good value for money.

Sir Anthony Meyer

Does my right hon. Friend accept that the arguments in favour of electrifying the north Wales railway line have been greatly strengthened by the imminence of the Channel tunnel?

Mr. Channon

I hope that the hon. Gentleman and my hon. Friend will put those arguments to the chairman of British Rail. I repeat that we shall naturally be happy to accept any proposal that offers good value for money.

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