§ Mr. Stevenson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will estimate the proportion which Government subsidies to(a) train operating companies and (b) Railtrack in (i) 1996, (ii) 1997, (iii) 1998 and (iv) the current year formed or will form of those companies' profits. 
§ Mr. Hill
Government subsidies are paid, not to Railtrack, but to train operating companies (TOCs) in the form of Support for Passenger Rail Services (SPRS) paid 699W by the Franchising Director and grants paid by Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs). Those subsidies are not hypothecated to cover particular types of expenditure, so they cannot be directly identified as the source of payments made by TOCs to Railtrack.
Passenger grants paid to TOCs, etc. £ million cash prices 1996–97 1997–98 1998–99 1999–2000(plans) SPRS payments 1,809 1,429 1,196 1,073 PTE payments 290 375 337 326 Total Government subsidies to TOCs 2,099 1,804 1,533 1,399 Passenger access charges 2,119 12,131 2,169 — Railtrack operating profit before tax 339 2380 471 — 1 Restated as 2,149 in Railtrack's Annual Report and Accounts 1998–99 2 Restated as 398 in Railtrack's Annual Report and Accounts 1998–99