HC Deb 23 July 2002 vol 389 cc981-2W
Mr. Weir

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment she has made of the importance of securing a Eurostar link from Scotland to the continent. [60789]

Mrs. Liddell

The Government believe that all areas of the country should have good access to Channel Tunnel rail services.

The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) have said that they plan to publish a strategy later this year on facilitating rail services through the Channel Tunnel from various parts of Great Britain.

The SRA announced last year that a consortium led by WS Atkins Consultants has been awarded the contract to undertake a feasibility study to ascertain the need for, and viability of, a new dedicated high speed line between London and the "north".

The study should report in the latter half of this year. The resultant report will feed into proposals for the implementation of the Government's 10-year plan and will inform an SRA strategy document regarding long-term capacity between London, the Midlands, the north of England and Scotland.

Outcomes from this study may identify options for greater interconnection between high speed Channel Tunnel services and those from London to Scotland.