HC Deb 16 November 1992 vol 214 cc11-2W
Mr. Nicholls

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library a copy of the terms of reference for consultants to investigate and report on structural options for the transfer of British Rail's freight businesses to the private sector.

Mr. Freeman

While the full terms of reference contain commercially sensitive material, the consultants' remit is to advice the Government and the British Railways Board on structural options for the transfer to the private sector of British Rail's freight and rail express systems services. The consultants have been asked to assess the requirements for a viable and competitive post-privatisation rail freight industry with low barriers to entry, identifying the structural options for transfer to the private sector and assessing each of the options against the following criteria:

  1. (i) the extent to which they provide a viable future in the private sector for existing traffics and opportunities for growth;
  2. (ii) the opportunities provided for competition and successful entry, and the impact on competition in related markets (eg competition between ports);
  3. (iii) privatisation receipts and restructuring costs;
  4. (iv) impact on the pace of privatisation;
  5. (v) the incentives provided for current management and staff to bring about improvements in performance, and the opportunities provided for them to take a stake in their businesses;
  6. (vi) the attractiveness to potential purchasers and/or investors;
  7. (vii) impact on the commercial performance of the rest of the railway.

The Government will issue a full statement of the preferred options for the privatisation of the freight businesses in due course.

Back to