Following the publication of the Sub-Committee’s report, Tunnel vision? Completing the European rail market in December 2011 and the Government’s response in February 2012, a debate in the House of Lords chamber has been arranged for Thursday 14 June to discuss its findings.
The report found that the potential of the Channel Tunnel had not yet been unlocked, despite ample spare capacity on the network. A combination of high access charges, uneven implementation of EU legislation designed to ensure fair access and an outdated view of the Tunnel as a unique case were all acting as barriers to rail expansion.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 the European rail network in general, and the Channel Tunnel in particular.
The debate is an opportunity for members of the Committee and the House to discuss these recommendations as part of an examination of how best to ensure the strong and sustainable growth of the European rail market. Baroness O’Cathain, Chairman of the Sub-Committee, will open the debate, which is expected to begin at around 4pm.