HC Deb 22 June 1992 vol 210 cc28-9W
Mr. Welsh

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give details of the criteria which determine whether EC funds will be made available for transport infrastructure projects in member states, and the United Kingdom in particular; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Norris

Council Regulation (EEC) No. 3359/90, of 20 November 1990 (OJ No. L326/1) established the current three year ad hoc EC Transport Infrastructure Programme which expires at the end of 1992. Seven major schemes were defined as priorities for funding. Those affecting the United Kingdom are the Paris-LondonBrussels-Amsterdam-Cologne high speed rail network; the A5/A55 North Wales coast road link to Ireland; and improvements to the Dublin-Belfast railway line. The criteria for assessing individual projects are set out in Article 4 of the Regulation—the benefit and greatest usefulness of the project to international Community traffic, assessed by its contribution to the objectives set out in Article 1. Among the factors which must be included are: —the importance of present or potential intraCommunity international traffic; —the importance of exchanges between the Community and third countries on the route involved in the project; —the extent of the project's contribution to the creation of a homogeneous and balanced network within the Community framework, geared to existing and future transport needs; —the socio-economic return on the project; —the project's consistency with the other Community measures taken under the common transport policy or other Community policies and with the other national measures given priority in national transport infrastructure plans and programmes; —particular difficulties in raising finance; —inability of national or regional authorities to carry out the project alone".

Criteria for EC funding under the European regional development fund for transport infrastructure projects in objective 1, objective 2 and objective 5b areas depend on the priorities set out in the relevant Community support frameworks which are agreed between the Commission and member states.

Mr. Welsh

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give details of forecasts of future EC funding for United Kingdom transport infrastructure projects broken down for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. and by mode of transport.

Mr. Norris

The information in the table is an estimate of receipts based on grant allocations from the current three year EC transport infrastructure programme and from previous programmes. The precise timing of payments will depend on the progress of work on the relevant schemes.

Road Rail Total
ECU (million) £ (million) (approx) ECU (million) £ (million) (approx) ECU (million) £ (million) (approx)
England 7.38 5.19 21.00 14.76 28.38 19.95
Wales 11.26 7.92 11.26 7.92
Northern Ireland 0.44 0.31 0.44 0.31
Total 19.08 13.42 21.00 14.76 40.08 28.18

The present three-year transport infrastructure programme is due to finish at the end of 1992, and no decisions have yet been taken about any further programme thereafter.

Grants for certain transport infrastructure projects are also available from the European regional development fund (ERDF). Future receipts will depend on the current negotiations on general future financing; and on the review of the EC structural funds, including ERDF, due to take place before the end of 1993.

It is not possible to forecast future loans to United Kingdom projects from the European Investment Bank or the European Coal and Steel Community.

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