HC Deb 19 June 1990 vol 174 cc474-5W
Mr. Gerald Bowden

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he will take to ensure that. in the period after the channel tunnel is opened and before a high speed rail link is constructed, there is no reduction of local rail services in south London owing to inadequate track capacity.

Mr. Freeman

This is an operational matter for British Rail. British Rail gave an undertaking to Parliament during the passage of the Channel Tunnel Act 1987 that existing domestic rail services would not be curtailed in consequence of the need to find capacity for through channel tunnel services. I understand that British Rail stands by its undertaking.

Mr. Gerald Bowden

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether, in the construction of the road links to the channel tunnel, an assessment has been included for the cost of increased congestion and accidents resulting from greater volumes of traffic on other roads.

Mr. Atkins

The assessment of all trunk road schemes includes an appraisal which takes account of costs associated with delays—that is congestion, accidents and changes in vehicle operating costs, for the road in question and the surrounding network.

Assessments have been made of the extra traffic expected to arise from the opening of the channel tunnel. This extra traffic is expected to be quite small when compared with the forecast growth of traffic generally. For appropriate schemes, such as those on the M20, relevant channel-related traffic has been added to predictions of general traffic growth.