§ Sir John Stanley
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, further to his answer to the hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford (Ms. Ruddock), of 6 December,64W Official Report, column 234, if he will set out the reasons for which the Government concluded that British Rail's proposed private Bill on Thameslink was premature.
§ Mr. Freeman
The Thameslink 2000 scheme has a substantial funding requirement and there are many other investment projects which will be competing for British Rail's resources over the next few years. It is not clear that this scheme should take priority. In the light of this, my right hon. and learned Friend considered that it would be premature to seek powers to take forward the project before proper consideration had been given to all the competing claims for the available resources in the context of British Rail's corporate plan.