HC Deb 09 December 1985 vol 88 cc429-30W
Mr. Adley

asked the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has made any study into the effects of a Channel fixed rail link on the average travel time, city centre to city centre, from London to (a) Paris, (b) Brussels and (c) Amsterdam; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. David Mitchell

This matter is being covered in the Government's assessment of fixed link proposals that is at present under way.

Mr. Alton

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if, in negotiating an agreement on the fixed link with the French Government, he will seek to make arrangements enabling French permits for commercial vehicles to be more readily available.

Mr. David Mitchell

This point has been covered in discussions between my right hon. Friend and his French counterpart.

Mr. Robert Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the implications of the ban on commercial vehicle movements during Sundays and bank holidays in France for the projected level of use of such a link by heavy goods vehicles; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ridley

I will answer this question shortly.

Mr. Spearing

asked the Secretary of State for Transport when and in what form he expects to publish the joint British and French Governments' assessment of the proposals for a fixed Channel link; and if he will make it his policy to include in it an assessment of the relative economic impact of such a link on different regions of the United Kingdom and on north-eastern France in so far as it affects those regions of the United Kingdom.

Mr. David Mitchell

The Government intend, as soon as possible after announcing their decision as to which, if any, scheme is to go ahead, to publish a White Paper giving the full reasons behind their decision. This will include an economic assessment of the effects of the chosen scheme on Kent and on other parts of the United Kingdom, bearing in mind all relevant factors. The Government are not responsible for north-eastern France.