Mr. Robert Ainsworth
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what are his plans to respond to the report of the Piggyback consortium and the proposals from Central Railways to provide a piggy back rail corridor; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Freeman
I congratulate the Piggyback consortium on its report and would like to see the initiative taken forward to the next stage. To this end, the Government will be prepared to support the consortium's bids for European funds, subject to eligibility and competing pressure on available funds.
The central Railway group's proposal is an entirely private sector venture that would need in due course to obtain statutory authorisation by means of the procedures established in the Transport and Works Act. It would, therefore, be inappropriate for me to comment at this stage.