§ Mr. Pickthall
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to encourage BR and the relevant private sector interests to seek help from the European investment bank for the upgrading of the west coast main line.
§ Mr. Freeman
It is not normally appropriate for BR to borrow from the European investment bank (EIB), as it can borrow more cheaply from the Government.
I have recently announced a scoping study to examine how the private sector can be involved in upgrading the west coast main line. The source of finance for the private sector is a matter for any eventual private sector partner in the upgrading project. But the benefits of EIB funding are widely appreciated, and the WCML would almost certainly be an eligible project.