§ Dr. Marek
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 16 March 1998,Official Report, column 438, if he will request the Rail Regulator to discuss with (a) Railtrack and (b) TOCs the public provision of national time tables for future years. 
§ Dr. Strang
Railtrack meets the train operating companies to discuss bids for train services which are subsequently incorporated into the national timetable. The Rail Regulator is also involved in the process and he can be approached by either party if they were dissatisfied with the outcome of the discussions. Demand for future services is subject to fluctuation and discussions therefore tend to focus on services that are to be included in the next edition of the timetable rather than for many years ahead.
§ Mr. Stringer
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what provision he is making for the cost of rail services secured by English Passenger Transport Executives in 1998–99. 
§ Ms Glenda Jackson
A special grant Report has been laid before the House today for the payment of Metropolitan Railways Passenger Services Grant in 1998–99 to English Passenger Transport Authorities 85W (PTAs). The main purpose of the grant is to provide support to those PTAs for the local rail services secured by the PTAs' Passenger Transport Executives under the terms of franchise agreements with franchise operators and the Director of Passenger Rail Franchising.