HC Deb 24 October 1989 vol 158 cc417-8W
Mr. Clay

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will provide the most recent figures broken down by(a) year and (b) section on (i) the number of

Mr. McLoughlin

I am today writing to Councillor Harkin, chairman of the Greater Manchester passenger transport authority, to say that I am approving phase I of the Manchester Metrolink project for grant under section 56 of the Transport Act 1968. Grant will be paid at 50 per cent. of eligible costs within a cash ceiling; borrowing approval will be available for other eligible costs.

I welcome this important and innovatory scheme, which is the first new street-running light railway in this country to be approved for many years. It will link Manchester's main railway termini, and will provide much-improved services to Bury and Altrincham. The scheme will also bring a new form of private sector involvement: it is to be designed, built, operated and maintained by a single consortium, the GMA Group. The net capital cost is expected to be about £110 million.