§ Viscount SIDMOUTH
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they have any financial agreement or contract with British Railways providing in particular for capital expenditure over a period of years, as is done with the French railways, and if so whether they will provide details.
§ Lord MOWBRAY and STOURTON
Subsidy for the operation of passenger services is paid to the British Railways Board under Section 3 of the Railways Act 1974, and is estimated in 1980 to amount to £612 million. This sum includes provision of £69 million for the replacement of passenger assets. The contract between the French Government and SNCF specifies investment in some detail. Investment priorities for British Rail are a matter for the board, subject to the overall limits on investment and external finance set by the Government.