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1995-09-29 DoT-001
Department of Transport


Government meets concerns of Channel Tunnel Rail Link select committee

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Department of Transport

Government meets concerns of Channel Tunnel Rail Link select committee

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29 September 1995
source Department of Transport
type Press release

note 307

The Government is accepting in full the majority of the Select
Committee's recommendations about the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and is
today offering alternative proposals to meet the remainder, Minister
for Railways and Roads, John Watts, announced today.

Mr Watts has written to the Committee Chairman, Sir Anthony Durant
MP, responding to each of the thirty decisions and recommendations
made by the Committee.

The Minister said:

"When the Committee announced decisions and recommendations in July I
said that they would all be given very careful consideration. During
the summer Union Railways have worked hard on designs to meet the
Committee's wishes and the Government has decided that the majority
should be met in full. "

Amongst their recommendations, the Committee sought three major route
changes. At Barking the Government is accepting a #50 million tunnel
which will reduce the environmental impacts on residents in the area.
In fact the tunnel will be even longer than the Committee requested,
though on the same alignment.

At Mardyke, in Thurrock, the route is being moved away from the local
community as requested by the Committee at a cost of #12 million. Mr
Watts said:

"At Barking and Mardyke we are doing everything that the Committee
wanted, and more in the case of Barking. "

For the approach to St Pancras, the Government is accepting the need
for a tunnel under Islington to the railway lands, and is inviting
the Committee to look at how best to do this.

Commenting on this Mr Watts said:

"For the approach to St Pancras, Union Railways have developed the
option favoured by the Committee, and have found better ways of
meeting the Committee's concerns and environmental objectives, but
with fewer technical difficulties. "

In Kent there are many local improvements such as lowering the line
within the Boxley Valley and covering it at Harrietsham.

"For Kent, the Government largely accepts the variety of local
improvements proposed by the Committee."

The overall increase in cost for the project from the Committee's
decisions is estimated to be of the order of #120 million or #170
million depending on which approach is adopted at St. Pancras.

Mr Watts commented:

"The extra cost is substantial even for a project the size of the
CTRL. The Government must keep a close watch on further costs."

The Channel Tunnel Rail Link Bill was introduced into the Commons
last November and received an unopposed Second Reading on 16 January.
The Select Committee started on 21 February considering the 993
petitions received. To date the Committee has sat for 54 days,
having worked its way along the route from the Channel Tunnel at
Cheriton to the terminus at St Pancras. The Committee will be
returning in October to hear remaining petitions mainly from
landowners and commercial organisations affected by the CTRL, before
hearing evidence on the additional provisions.


1. The Channel Tunnel Rail Link will be a 67 mile (108 kilometre)
high-speed railway between London and the Channel Tunnel for both
international and domestic passenger services. The cost was
estimated in 1993 at #2.7 billion. The Government will provide a
substantial financial contribution in recognition of the domestic
transport and regeneration benefits and also the very large benefits
to international passengers. The final figure will be determined by
the outcome of the CTRL private sector competition.

2. Of the decisions announced by the Select Committee most can be met
without amending the CTRL Bill. Additional provisions to the Bill
will be needed for: - approach to St Pancras - extending the London
tunnel through Barking - realignment at Mardyke - realignment at
Rainham - a footbridge to facilitate a passenger connection between
Ebbsfleet and Northfleet stations - a road scheme at Ashford to allow
for the closure of Aylesford Place level crossing (Crowbridge Road).

3. Before the additional provisions can be introduced the leave of
the House of Commons has to be sought in a special debate. It is
hoped that, subject to the Parliamentary timetable, this debate can
take place in time for the first batch of additional provisions to be
deposited in November. Those people affected by the additional
provisions will have an opportunity to petition against them in due

# = pounds sterling

Railhub Archive ::: 1995-09-29 DoT-001


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