Channel link decision next month

A decision on whether to go ahead with the Channel Tunnel Rail Link is expected to be taken by the Government early next month following the submission of final revised rescue proposals from the project's developer, London & Continental Railways, in partnership with Railtrack

A spokesman for the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, confirmed that the final proposals were submitted last Friday but said that ministers did not intend to rush into a decision. "I think they will want to consider the proposals in depth and ensure the decision reached is the correct one."

The future of the link into London's St Pancras station was thrown into doubt in January after Mr Prescott rejected a request from LCR for an extra pounds 1.2bn in public subsidies on top of the pounds 1.8bn already granted.

Mr Prescott gave LCR 30 days to submit new financial proposals and at the end of February granted it a 90-day extension. LCR's preliminary revised proposals are understood to have reduced the amount of extra public subsidy by pounds 500m to pounds 600m. Further substantial reductions have been identified since then.

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