HL Deb 06 June 1996 vol 572 cc145-6WA
Lord Harding of Petherton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have to privatise Railfreight Distribution.

Viscount Goschen

My honourable friend the Minister for Railways and Roads has today announced that the Government have decided that Railfreight Distribution—British Rail's Channel Tunnel freight business—should be offered for sale as soon as possible. BR have been asked, in consultation with the Department of Transport, to draw up a programme for its disposal. The offer for sale will be based on the existing business.

Railfreight Distribution is heavily loss-making. Privatisation will enable the business to be put onto a sound financial footing so that the growth potential of international freight services via the Channel Tunnel can be exploited on a commercial basis, thereby furthering the objective of transferring more freight from road to rail.