asked Her Majesty's Government:
What was the closing deficit or surplus in the British Railways Board's accounts on the date of its transfer to the Strategic Rail Authority; and whether the surplus or deficit accrued to the SRA, or the Consolidated Fund. [HL1818]
§ The Minister of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston)
At close of business on 31 January 2001, the British Railways Board had net liabilities of£175.3 million. On 1 February 2001, net liabilities totalling£349.3 million, which represented the majority of the property, rights and liabilities of the board, were transferred from the board to the Strategic Rail Authority, leaving the board with net assets of£174.0 million, comprising the board's cash deposits and National Loans Fund debt. For the 10 months to 31 January, the board's external finance requirement was £83.5 million, compared to provision of £107.1 million set in the 1998 Comprehensive 95WA Spending Review and adjusted in the 2000–01 Winter Supplementary Estimates. It is proposed that the resulting £23.6 million surplus should be carried forward to 2001–02 and added to the SRA's end-year flexibility entitlement.