HC Deb 04 March 1997 vol 291 c546W
Mr. Chidgey

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has for the disposal of the Epping to Ongar line; and what commitment will be sought from prospective purchasers about the restoration of a train service. [18441]

Mr. Bowis

The conditions which the former Secretary of State attached to the closure of the Epping to Ongar line required London Underground to seek a private operator for the line. I understand that London Underground has identified a preferred bidder following an open competition. The details of the negotiations are a commercial matter for London Underground. If it seeks the Secretary of State's consent to a disposal to the preferred bidder, he will want to be satisfied that the proposed operator is committed to running a train service.