HC Deb 10 February 1992 vol 203 c643
5. Mr. Madel

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to meet Bedfordshire county council to discuss the future development of transport in the county; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman

I met representatives of Bedfordshire county council on 29 January to discuss proposals for the future use of the Luton to Dunstable corridor.

Mr. Madel

My hon. Friend will be aware that great progress has been made on bypass construction since 1979. Will my hon. Friend's Department give full support to keeping the Bedford to Bletchley line open, reopening the Luton to Dunstable line and to creating a new terminus south of Luton so that Bedfordshire can benefit when the channel tunnel is opened?

Mr. Freeman

First, I know of no plans to close the Bedford to Bletchley line. The rolling stock is aging, and British Rail is considering the introduction of modern rolling stock on that line. My hon. Friend has been assiduous in promoting a scheme to reuse the Luton-Dunstable line and I very much hope that that scheme comes to fruition. A diesel shuttle service from Luton to Dunstable would run on a track that is currently not used and that service would bring great benefits. As to the channel tunnel terminal, British Rail has no plans to have other than King's Cross as its London terminus. Services on the midlands and the east coast main lines would depend upon electrification, but I know that British Rail will seriously consider running channel tunnel services when there is proper demand.