Lords to quiz Transport Minister on Monday


The House of Lords Internal Market, Infrastructure and Employment EU Sub-Committee is to question UK Transport Minister Simon Burns (pictured) on Monday.

he committee was “disappointed with the degree of engagement both in the government’s response and subsequent debate on its report, Tunnel Vision? Completing the European Rail Market.
The report, published in December 2011, found that the potential of the Channel Tunnel had not yet been unlocked, despite ample spare network capacity.  

High access charges, uneven implementation of EU legislation designed to ensure fair access combined with an outdated view of the Tunnel as a unique case were all acting as barriers to rail expansion.  

The committee called for a concerted effort to boost the interoperability, affordability and consumer focus of both the European rail network in general and the Channel Tunnel in particular.
Questions the minister is likely to face include: “What representations is the government making at EU level to improve the connectivity and efficiency of the transport network in Europe?

“Is the UK looking to learn from the successful high-speed railway initiatives in countries such as France and Spain in its work towards completing the HS2 project?

The evidence session will take place on Monday 22 October at 4pm in Committee Room 2 and is open to the public.