HL Deb 12 July 2001 vol 626 cc91-2WA
Lord Hoyle

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How much government money has been invested in Railtrack in each of the last four years; and how much more is planned in the next two years. [HL211]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton

In the last four years, train operating companies (TOCs) have been paid support for passenger rail services (SPRS) by the Franchising Director and, since 1 February 2001, by the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA). Also, they have been paid grant by passenger transport executives (PTEs). In addition, freight operating companies (FOCs) have been paid freight grants by my department and, since 1 February 2001, by the SRA.

The table provides, for each financial year 1997–98 to 2000–01, details of SPRS and PTE payments to the TOCs and freight grant payments to the FOCs.

£ million cash prices
1997–98 1998–99 1999–2000 2000–01
payments 1,429 1,196 1,031 847
payments 375 337 312 283
Freight grant
payments 21 19 17 35

Since Railtrack was privatised in 1996–97, no public money has been paid direct to the company, but its profitability is contingent on public money. Some 90 per cent of Railtrack's income is paid to the company by TOCs and FOCs in access charges, a substantial proportion of which are supported by public money.

In future, Railtrack will continue to receive income from TOCs and FOCs, the large majority of which will continue to receive subsidy from the SRA and PTEs. In addition, the company will receive network grants from the SRA. While the precise amounts of those grants will depend on future movements in the retail prices index, payments are expected to be of the order of £505 million in 2001–02 and £900 million in 2002–03.