The programme has got under way much more quickly than was originally forecast. Important matters of technical and commercial policy have been decided, and a large part of the programme is now committed.
The programme is well ahead of schedule, but equally it is only fair to say that, for the next two years, cuts have been made in the level of expenditure that the railways would have liked, due mostly to the great acceleration which they have managed to put in the programme. I think the fair answer to my hon. Friend's question is that the programme is well ahead, but it is not quite so far ahead as it would have been if I had allowed the railways to spend a great deal more money than would be in the national interest at the moment.