HC Deb 02 July 1990 vol 175 c400W
Mr. Steen

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the total financial subvention from public funds for running the railways in each of the EC countries; and how many miles of track each country has.

Mr. Freeman

The most recent comprehensive information available to my Department on the public subsidy levels of the European Community's railway systems is contained in the 10th Commission report on the transposed annual accounts of railway undertakings for 1986 [COM (89) 364 final]. These have been converted to sterling on purchasing power parity, together with figures for route mileage; track mileage figures are not available.

Country Support (£ million sterling) Route mileage
Belgium 454 2,221
Denmark 158 1,547
France 1,845 21,602
Greece 123 1,549
Ireland 92 1,215
Italy 4,403 10,009
Luxembourg 83 170
Netherlands 319 1,766
Portugal 161 2,255
United Kingdom 815 10,374
West Germany 2,138 17,052


1. COM (89) 364 does not include details in respect of Spain, which was not a member of the EC in 1986. The figure for route mileage in Spain is 7,844.

2. The subsidy figure for the United Kingdom includes support for the British Railways Board (£810 million) and for the Northern Ireland Railway Company (£5 million).

Mr. Allen

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on his response to proposals for an integrated high speed rail network to service United Kingdom industry and commerce from the year 2000 onwards.

Mr. Freeman

I will be glad to look at any proposals put to me by British Rail for high-speed passenger services.