Channel Tunnel Rail Link

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd April 1995.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms , Newham North East 12:00 am, 3rd April 1995

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is his policy in respect of the objective for the channel tunnel rail link announced by the former Secretary of State in 1991, with special reference to economic regeneration in east London. [15700]

Photo of Mr John Watts Mr John Watts , Slough

In selecting the easterly route for the channel tunnel rail link, the Government recognised the potential that it offered to encourage regeneration in the east Thames corridor, now known as the Thames gateway. Such regeneration remains an important objective for the rail link project.

Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms , Newham North East

May I remind the Minister that when the former Secretary of State made the announcement in 1991, he was explicit that his commitment was to regeneration in east London, where it is most needed and where, as the Government's own figures confirm, the levels of urban deprivation are highest? Do the Government remain committed to regeneration specifically in east London, as announced in 1991, through the rail link project?

Photo of Mr John Watts Mr John Watts , Slough

I am confident that the whole of the Thames gateway will benefit from the rail link project. I was grateful to the hon. Gentleman for inviting me to view the proposed site of the Stratford station, which I did recently on a very wet day—it was probably the only time that anyone has described me as a wet. However, the enthusiasm of the promoter group was undiminished by the weather. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the question of the station at Stratford is still open and we shall reassess it in the light of the bids from the four consortiums, which are undergoing assessment.

Photo of Mr Jacques Arnold Mr Jacques Arnold , Gravesham

May I remind my hon. Friend that the reference was to the east Thames corridor and that we in north-west Kent are therefore grateful for the decision immediately to proceed with the Ebbsfleet station, which will bring considerable regeneration and also make more viable any opportunities that Opposition Members see in respect of east London?

Photo of Mr John Watts Mr John Watts , Slough

It is gratifying that hon. Friends and hon. Members representing both sides of the Thames recognise the value of this project to regeneration prospects.