§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
asked the Secretary of State for Transport what is the level of investment by industry in private railway sidings and private railway wagons.
§ Mr. Eyre
I am glad to say that there has been substantial investment by industry in private sidings and wagons that operate both within firms' own premises and on the national railway network. Figures for the level of this investment are not available to the British Railways Board.
The Government encourage the use of rail for the movement of freight through grants under section 8 of the 274W Transport Act 1974. These grants cover up to 60 per cent. of the cost of the facilities. They are available only to the minority of investment schemes, where the goods would otherwise go by road. Most investment by industry in rail freight takes place without reference to my Department.