HC Deb 14 December 1995 vol 268 cc755-7W
Mr. Tyler

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what studies and other initiatives have been or are planned to be undertaken as a result of receiving funding from the trans-European networks; and what is their start and finish date and estimated costs. [6035]

3. Mr. Watts

As I explained in my reply to the previous question by the hon. Member for North Cornwall on 27 November,Official Report, column 267, only the 1995 funds for TENs have so far been allocated, and 75 per cent. of these have been allocated to the priority projects identified by the Essen European Council.

Transport and the Public Works Loan Board: this initial cost to Public Funds was £151 million. By September 1991 that opening debt had risen by £288 million to £439 million through the capitalisation of interest charges that could not be met out of toll revenue. From February 1992, grants under the Appropriation Acts have been paid to meet a capital repayment to the PWLB and unmet interest charges on the Department's loans. By March 1996 these will have totalled £168 million. Capitalised interest and grant Payments therefore represent a total extra cost of £456 million. In the last five years the revenue shortfall that has resulted in a capitalisation of debt or grant Payment has been approximately £39 million Per annum.

The charges for each class of vehicle since the bridge opened are as follows:

TENs funds are allocated against total eligible expenditure incurred in the year for which the funds are granted, but are not subsequently broken down as between the individual elements of eligible expenditure. A project begun in 1994, but not completed until 1995 or later, may therefore receive 1995 funds for the expenditure incurred on it in 1995 and thereafter.

For the United Kingdom projects on the Essen list, the details are as follows:

Channel Tunnel Rail Link

(part of the Paris-Brussels-KoIn-Amsterdam-London High Speed Train link project)Continuation of feasibility study work begun in 1989Study work expected to he completed 1997Total eligible expenditure relating to 1995 funding: £25.6 million

2. West Coast Main Line upgrading

Completion of feasibility studies: studies to confirm cost estimates and for specialised designFeasibility studies start date April 1994; design studies start date January 1995Feasibility studies completed April 1995; design studies to be completed post 1999Total eligible expenditure relating to 1995 funding: £12 million

Ireland-UK-Benelux road link

Studies of possible ways to increase M6 and Mll capacity, and of possible upgrading of junctions on Newry-Dundalk section of A1 Northern IrelandStudies start date: 1995Studies completion date: Early 1996Total eligible study costs: £6 million

In addition, a number of smaller, mostly traffic management schemes were allocated funds in respect of study work carried out in 1995. The details for the one UK scheme concerned are as follows:

Scheme title: ERTICO (European Co-ordination of Radio Data Systems-Traffic Message Control)Feasibility study of elements needed to establish a sustainable national service.Study work started September 1995; expected completion December 1997Total eligible expenditure relating to 1995 funding: £900,000