HC Deb 05 February 1998 vol 305 c770W
Mr. Wigley

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales for what reasons powers for the regulation of the railways will not be devolved to the Welsh Assembly; and what assessment he has made of the impact of this on the Government's plans for an integrated transport policy. [27178]

Mr. Hain

The Government's policy on devolution is that the National Assembly will take over virtually all the functions of the Secretary of State for Wales. My right hon. Friend has very few statutory functions in relation to the railways. The Government are committed to the creation of a new rail authority, combining functions currently carried out by the Franchising Director and the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, to ensure effective and accountable regulation of the railways throughout Great Britain. It will in due course be necessary to define the Assembly's relationship with the new rail authority.

Work is continuing on the development of an integrated transport policy, and a separate policy statement for Wales will be published at around the same time as the integrated transport White Paper.

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