DoT will fight rail Bill change
Sunday 18 July 1993
The amendment, which would allow BR to bid for franchises when the privatisation process starts in 1994 or 1995, was passed by a large majority last month. Ministers have not said whether they would try to reverse it in the Commons, although the Lords transport minister, Lord Caithness, has said that the amendment goes to the heart of the Bill.
Ministers have now found that the amendment would effectively kill the purpose of the Bill, which is to attract the private sector. However they are not announcing their decision because of the importance of the issue in the forthcoming Christchurch by-election. Ministers have also rejected compromises, such as allowing BR to bid on some lines only.
If BR were allowed to bid, it would deter managers, an essential component of any bid, from bidding against their own bosses. BR's knowledge and experience would deter the private sector from bidding.
The Government is also worried that it would be impossible for the private sector to compete against BR because BR can make up any losses with government subsidy.
More than a dozen Tory MPs are thought to be prepared to support the amendment - enough to overturn the Government's majority - when the Bill returns to the Commons in October.
The BR chairman, Sir Bob Reid, is prepared to ensure that BR is a serious contender in bids should the amendment be kept. However, he has taken a neutral stance on the amendment.
The Government is facing the prospect of another defeat this Wednesday in the Lords when it discusses the Bill's effect on BR's pension fund. Lord Peyton, the former Tory transport minister, has tabled an amendment to ensure that pensioners retain all their existing rights.
- 1 David Cameron refers to 83-year-old Labour MP Dennis Skinner as 'Jurassic Park'
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Optical illusion turns blue demon into brunette
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal will donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal will donate entire $32bn fortune to charity
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Greece debt crisis: Country firmly on course to hold EU referendum as eurozone leaders reject new bailout request
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
Tunisia beach attack: How can British Muslims respond to the latest outrages?
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for o...
£35000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leader provides c...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...