§ Mr. Alfred Morris
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the implications for Wythenshawe of Greater Manchester passenger transport authority's strategic development plan; and if he will make a statement of the future of light rail funding with particular reference to the benefits of extending Metrolink. 
§ Mr. Bradley
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the implications for Manchester, Withington of Greater Manchester passenger transport authority's strategic development plan; 
(2) if he will make a statement on the future of light rail funding. 
§ Mr. Norris
My Department is aware of Greater Manchester passenger transport authority strategic development plan for public transport which covers the period 1992 to 2002. It is a matter for GMPTA to prioritise the proposals in the plan, which we will then consider in competition with other bids for local transport resources.
Bids for light rail schemes are submitted to my Department during the annual transport policies and programmes round, and are funded through the package approach. I am prepared to consider supporting light rail schemes, including extensions to the Metrolink, provided that they can be demonstrated to be the right and most cost-effective solution to a particular urban transport problem, where they are planned within the context of a strategy or transport package to achieve mode shift away from the private car, and where they will attract significant private sector and local investment. It should be remembered, however, that light rail is not the only solution to urban transport problems, and the difficulties and costs associated with developing schemes should not be underestimated.
§ Mr. Norris
Two applications for orders under the Transport and Works Act 1992 have been made which relate to light rail projects. These are the Greater Manchester (LRTS) (Airport Extension) and the Greater Manchester (LRTS) (Eccles Extension) Orders. In both cases local inquiries have been held and the Secretary of State is awaiting the inspectors' reports.
My Department has received two applications for funding in 1996–97. These are for the Manchester Metrolink extension to Salford quays and the Leeds supertram. The amount of private sector funding for both these projects has not yet been finalised. Before I agree to fund a new light rail scheme, the promoters must have secured significant private sector and local investment. Each light rail project is different and the level of private sector investment in each scheme will differ.