§ Mr. Freeman
I should like to encourage any private sector firm with a commercial proposition for running a public transport service over the route of the redundant freight line between Luton and Dunstable—for a rail service making use of the existing track, or an alternative proposal making use of the track bed—to approach BR.
Any proposal would have to be fully self-financing, should not interfere with existing BR services and must, of course, be consistent with safe operation. I know that BR will treat any sensible approach seriously and will seek to co-operate fully. Indeed, BR is already co-operating with Luton and District Bus Company, which is investigating the scope for converting the track bed into a dedicated bus way. I must stress that approaches should not impose any cost burden on BR, or divert BR resources from other urgent tasks, such as the major resignalling programme.
If no commercial proposals for a rail service are forthcoming, BR plans to recover materials from the Luton-Dunstable branch for re-use elsewhere on the network. Proposals should therefore be submitted to BR no later than the end of September 1991.