British Rail (Surplus Land)
§ Mr. Adley
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will review his Department's instructions to British Rail relating to the disposal of surplus land as part of the annual negotiations on the external financing limit specifically to separate the rules applying to actual trackbed as opposed to other land holdings; and when these instructions were last reviewed.
§ Mr. Freeman
The policies that the Government look for in the handling of British Rail land were last restated to BR in September 1985. They require, among other things, that the board should make a commercial plan for 29W identifying and divesting itself of all its underused or surplus property. There are no plans to review these instructions, which are not linked to the annual negotiations on the external financing limit. Before deciding whether to declare disused trackbeds non-operational and subject to disposal, BR takes account of possible future operational needs and consults widely local authorities and other appropriate organisations.