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Lord Berkeley (Labour)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they will give in the forthcoming command paper on the railways to requiring Network Rail to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and for parliamentary questions for written answer on rail infrastructure to be answered directly by ministers.

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Earl Attlee (Conservative)

Network Rail is a private sector company. The Government have no current plans to extend the Freedom of Information Act to the company. However, we welcome the fact that Network Rail is taking steps to enhance its own transparency and is developing a voluntary publication scheme with which it will comply.

Network Rail is the owner and operator of the UK's railway infrastructure. The company is, therefore, best placed to provide timely and accurate responses to questions on matters concerning operational railway infrastructure. Ministers will continue to answer questions on railway matters directly where they fall within Government's locus.

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