HC Deb 13 July 1988 vol 137 c199W
Mrs. Dunwoody

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the Government's current role in promoting the development of infrastructure projects associated with the construction of the Channel tunnel.

Mr. David Mitchell

I have responsibility for approving proposals from British Rail for railway infrastructure investment in connection with the tunnel. I have already approved in principle a package of investment proposed by the board not exceeding £550 million in total to enable Channel tunnel rail services to commence in 1993. Under section 40 of the Channel Tunnel Act 1987, the board is required to publish a plan by the end of 1989 setting out its proposals for international through services beyond London and the associated infrastructure investment. The board is this week publishing its report on the need for additional rail capacity in the longer-term between London and the tunnel.

We have direct responsibility for motorways and other trunk roads. A number of major trunk road improvements are programmed, in particular on the M20/A20 and A259 routes. The trunk road programme is kept under review, and schemes are added as the need is identified. We also support local authority road improvements on roads of more than local importance with transport supplementary grant (TSG). Kent county council is receiving TSG for schemes made necessary by the tunnel in addition to its main accepted road programme.

Mr. Rowe

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has received from the British Railways Board its report on rail capacity between London and the Channel tunnel.

Mr. David Mitchell

I received the report on Monday 11 July. I understand from BR that it will be published on Thursday 14 July, and that BR will be sending copies to all hon. Members. Copies will also be placed in the Library of the House.

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