§ Sir George Young
Railtrack plc published its first network management statement today. I have arranged for copies to be placed in the Library of the House.
I welcome the news that Railtrack expects to spend over £1 billion a year on maintenance and renewal of its assets over the next ten years.
Railtrack's statement shows the professional approach which it is adopting to the management of its assets and a long-term commitment to a safe and efficient railway. I believe it also provides evidence of the benefits that privatisation is expected to bring for passengers. This scale of investment and the plans that Railtrack has outlined today should lead to a better quality service and a better-managed infrastructure for the railways of the future.