§ Lord Clinton-Davis
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What discussions they have had with British Rail about stimulating combined transport programmes, in relation to and also separate from operations relating to the Channel Tunnel; and whether any such programmes are planned to link up with similar programmes being undertaken on the mainland of Europe; and the amount of likely investment in such programmes.
The Minister of State, Department of Transport (The Earl of Caithness)
This is a commercial matter for British Rail. BR have entered into a number of joint ventures with their Continental partners and the private sector. The Government have supported BR investment of some £450 million in preparation for Channel Tunnel intermodal freight services and recently announced new measures which should materially assist in boosting the prospects for combined transport. Over the medium term, liberalisation and privatisation offer the best prospect for rail to improve its performance and to attract new business.