§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much(a) has been and (b) remains to be paid to the unsuccessful consortia which bid for the channel tunnel rail link contract. 
§ Mr. Watts
The Government announced in March 1994 that they would be prepared to contribute to the costs of unsuccessful bidders in the channel tunnel rail link competition. That contribution would be £1.5 million or 33 per cent. of costs properly incurred in the preparation of bids submitted in March 1995, whichever was the less. Claims have been settled from the two consortia which were not shortlisted—Union Link and Green Arrow. The Government also indicated in 1994 that an additional contribution might be available in respect of costs incurred after tenders had been submitted. An offer of £1 million or 33 per cent. of costs, whichever was the lower, was subsequently made in respect of the period after shortlisting in July 1995. A claim has not yet been received from Eurorail CTRL Ltd. The decision to reimburse a portion of the bidders' costs reflected their large investment in preparing bids and the benefits derived by maintaining competitive pressure throughout the process. The amounts involved are small in the context of the size of the CTRL project.