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1996-01-29 DoT-001
Department of Transport

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Young backs bigger role for rail in city speech


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flotation
privatisation



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Department of Transport

Young backs bigger role for rail in city speech
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related documents


1996-01-09 Sale of first rolling stock leasing company completed (Department of Transport)

_______________________________________________________________


date
29 January 1996
source Department of Transport
type Press release

note 023


In a further step towards the flotation of Railtrack in May,
Transport Secretary, Sir George Young addressed a gathering of the
City of Londons leading investors, and underlined the Governments
strong commitment to a successful railway.

Speaking at the SBC Warburg Railway Industry Seminar, he said:

There has been a real change in the publics attitude towards
transport policy in the last few years. This has become clear in the
responses to the National Transport Debate. There is now more
awareness of the problems of over-dependence on the car, and an
increasing desire for investment in public transport: people want a
change of emphasis, with as much scope as possible for the more
environmentally friendly modes. I am committed to supporting exactly
that.

Turning to the future role of the rail industry he continued:

The public wants to see a bigger role for the transport of
passengers and freight by rail. It is also my firm belief that our
policies for the railways offer the best prospect of delivering an
industry capable of fulfilling those expectations - one which
operates at a higher level of efficiency, with more investment and
with greater focus on the customer. I have become increasingly
convinced that our work on the privatisation of Britains railways
has begun to strike a chord with many thousands of ordinary people.

Commenting on the achievements of rail privatisation to date, Sir
George said that the new structure would provide competitive and
financial incentives to deliver better performance and improved
services. It would also provide a degree of transparency which
didnt exist in the old railways. He continued:

For the first time, we are now able to identify the true cost of
the services which taxpayers money is buying. That must be right.
In the last four months, we have witnessed a period of tremendous
progress in our task of delivering the people of this country with
the foundations of a better railway, with early evidence of the
improvements which the private sector can offer. The really
impressive aspect of the sales to date lies in the new owners plans
for new investment in their businesses, new investment in the
railway.

Referring to the success of privatisation to date he added:

32 businesses with an aggregate turnover of over #2 billion have
been sold; 30 companies with an aggregate turnover of some #3
billion are on the market. The responses from the private sector,
from major companies and leading financiers around the world have
confounded our critics. I see this as a resounding vote of
confidence from the business community for the new railway.

Sir George concluded:

Eight years on, who asks whether it was right to privatise British
Airways, now a world leader in the airlines business? Or the very
successful British Airports Authority? I am in no doubt that this
question will be as irrelevant for the railways.

Notes to Editors:

1. On 3 January 1996 the Secretary of State for Transport, Sir George
Young, confirmed that the Railtrack flotation would take place in May
1996. A detailed timetable will be announced nearer the time.

2. Railtrack was established as a Government-owned company on 1 April
1994. Railtrack owns some 10,000 route miles of track; some 2500
stations; some 40,000 bridges, viaducts and tunnels; some 9,000 level
crossings; and some 90 light maintenance depots.

3. Share shops will have an exclusive role in collecting
registrations for the UK Public Offer, will provide offer information
to their registrants, and will collect and process applications from
and submit bulk applications on behalf of, those registrants. As for
the last Governments share sale, the National Power and PowerGen
share offer, in March 1995, the significant role of Share Shops in
the Offer means that the Government will not need to set up a Share
Information Office.

4. This announcement which has been issued by the Department of
Transport, has been approved solely for the purposes of Section 57 of
the Financial Services Act 1986 by SBC Warburg, a division of Swiss
Bank Corporation, which is regulated in the UK by the Securities and
Futures Authority and is acting as financial adviser to the
Department of Transport, and no-one else, in connection with the
proposed sale of securities in Railtrack Group PLC. No offer or
invitation to acquire shares in Railtrack Group PLC is being made by
or in connection with this announcement. Any such offer or invitation
will be made in a prospectus to be published in due course in
connection with the proposed sale and any acquisition of securities
should be made solely on the basis of the information contained in
such prospectus.

This document is not for distribution in the United States, Canada or
Japan, or to United States persons.

# = pounds sterling

In a further step towards the flotation of Railtrack in May,
Transport Secretary, Sir George Young addressed a gathering of the
City of Londons leading investors, and underlined the Governments
strong commitment to a successful railway.

Speaking at the SBC Warburg Railway Industry Seminar, he said:

There has been a real change in the publics attitude towards
transport policy in the last few years. This has become clear in the
responses to the National Transport Debate. There is now more
awareness of the problems of over-dependence on the car, and an
increasing desire for investment in public transport: people want a
change of emphasis, with as much scope as possible for the more
environmentally friendly modes. I am committed to supporting exactly
that.

Turning to the future role of the rail industry he continued:

The public wants to see a bigger role for the transport of
passengers and freight by rail. It is also my firm belief that our
policies for the railways offer the best prospect of delivering an
industry capable of fulfilling those expectations - one which
operates at a higher level of efficiency, with more investment and
with greater focus on the customer. I have become increasingly
convinced that our work on the privatisation of Britains railways
has begun to strike a chord with many thousands of ordinary people.

Commenting on the achievements of rail privatisation to date, Sir
George said that the new structure would provide competitive and
financial incentives to deliver better performance and improved
services. It would also provide a degree of transparency which
didnt exist in the old railways. He continued:

For the first time, we are now able to identify the true cost of
the services which taxpayers money is buying. That must be right.
In the last four months, we have witnessed a period of tremendous
progress in our task of delivering the people of this country with
the foundations of a better railway, with early evidence of the
improvements which the private sector can offer. The really
impressive aspect of the sales to date lies in the new owners plans
for new investment in their businesses, new investment in the
railway.

Referring to the success of privatisation to date he added:

32 businesses with an aggregate turnover of over #2 billion have
been sold; 30 companies with an aggregate turnover of some #3
billion are on the market. The responses from the private sector,
from major companies and leading financiers around the world have
confounded our critics. I see this as a resounding vote of
confidence from the business community for the new railway.

Sir George concluded:

Eight years on, who asks whether it was right to privatise British
Airways, now a world leader in the airlines business? Or the very
successful British Airports Authority? I am in no doubt that this
question will be as irrelevant for the railways.

Notes to Editors:

1. On 3 January 1996 the Secretary of State for Transport, Sir George
Young, confirmed that the Railtrack flotation would take place in May
1996. A detailed timetable will be announced nearer the time.

2. Railtrack was established as a Government-owned company on 1 April
1994. Railtrack owns some 10,000 route miles of track; some 2500
stations; some 40,000 bridges, viaducts and tunnels; some 9,000 level
crossings; and some 90 light maintenance depots.

3. Share shops will have an exclusive role in collecting
registrations for the UK Public Offer, will provide offer information
to their registrants, and will collect and process applications from
and submit bulk applications on behalf of, those registrants. As for
the last Governments share sale, the National Power and PowerGen
share offer, in March 1995, the significant role of Share Shops in
the Offer means that the Government will not need to set up a Share
Information Office.

4. This announcement which has been issued by the Department of
Transport, has been approved solely for the purposes of Section 57 of
the Financial Services Act 1986 by SBC Warburg, a division of Swiss
Bank Corporation, which is regulated in the UK by the Securities and
Futures Authority and is acting as financial adviser to the
Department of Transport, and no-one else, in connection with the
proposed sale of securities in Railtrack Group PLC. No offer or
invitation to acquire shares in Railtrack Group PLC is being made by
or in connection with this announcement. Any such offer or invitation
will be made in a prospectus to be published in due course in
connection with the proposed sale and any acquisition of securities
should be made solely on the basis of the information contained in
such prospectus.

This document is not for distribution in the United States, Canada or
Japan, or to United States persons.

# = pounds sterling


Railhub Archive ::: 1996-01-29 DoT-001





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