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Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to allocate the funding no longer allocated to the Pergau dam in 1995 96 to low-income countries in Africa and South Asia.

Mr. Baldry: The poorest countries of Africa and South Asia will remain a priority for aid programme funds in 1995 96. In 1993 94, nine of the 10 largest recipients of our bilateral country programme funds were low -income countries in Africa and Asia.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Leon Patterson

Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Attorney-General, pursuant to his answer of 27 February 1995, Official Report, column 686, (1) if he will publish the reply that he received from the Director of the Crown Prosecution Service concerning the case of Leon Patterson; (2) if he will publish the report sent to him by the Director of Public Prosecutions into the circumstances surrounding the death of Leon Patterson;

(3) on what date he expects the new inquest into the death of Leon Patterson to take place.

The Attorney-General: The report by the Director of Public Prosecutions referred to in my answer of27 February 1995, Official Report, column 686 was prepared and submitted as briefing to enable the hon. Member's question to be answered. Such briefing, like the report to the director for the purpose of the decision whether or not to prosecute, is confidential.

The conduct of inquests is a matter for the coroner concerned. The further inquest to which the hon. Member refers is to be held pursuant to an order of the divisional court. The date is for the coroner to determine in his judicial capacity.

Racist Propaganda

Mr. Madden: To ask the Attorney-General what directions he has issued following the passing of papers to him by the Metropolitan police serious and organised crime branch concerning the printing and distribution of race hate material; and if he will make a statement.

The Attorney-General: I understand that the hon. Member's question relates to the investigation by the Metropolitan police into the activities of Combat 18. That inquiry is on-going. The Crown Prosecution Service expects to receive a report once the police inquiries have been concluded. I shall be kept informed. If the Crown Prosecution Service considers that proceedings may be appropriate for an offence which is subject to a statutory requirement that my consent be obtained, the papers will be referred to me.


Column 728

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Palestinian Elections

Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress is being made towards Palestinian elections and towards the redeployment of Israeli defence forces.

Mr. Douglas Hogg: We understand that the elections negotiations in Cairo are making steady progress. The talks on redeployment have made no significant progress.

Career Breaks

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) men and (b) women applied for career breaks in his Department or its agencies; and how many have had their employment terminated in the last five years.

Mr. Goodlad: Information on applications for career breaks is not collated centrally. The numbers of officers beginning unpaid career breaks in each of the last five years are:


       |1990|1991|1992|1993|1994     

-------------------------------------

Male   |12  |11  |11  |5   |10       

Female |44  |68  |65  |65  |59       

In the same period the numbers of officers who have had their employment terminated on disciplinary and poor performance grounds are:


       |1990|1991|1992|1993|1994     

-------------------------------------

Male   |3   |5   |3   |1   |4        

Female |-   |2   |3   |2   |1        

Staff whose applications for career breaks are not accepted do not have their employment terminated.

Turkey

Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action Her Majesty's Government will take to encourage the Government of Turkey to ensure the preservation of the Suryani community in south-eastern Turkey.

Mr. David Davis: Our ambassador in Ankara has discussed the concerns of the Suryani community with the Turkish authorities and stressed that it is their duty to investigate and stamp out cases of harassment and kidnapping. We shall continue to take a close interest in the Christian communities in Turkey.

Mr. Harry Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what Her Majesty's Government are doing to encourage the Turkish authorities to allow the Syrian Orthodox Church in Turkey to have its own theological seminary and to teach the Syriac language in schools.

Mr. David Davis: We take a close interest in the Christian communities in Turkey in the context of our wider concerns on human rights. Our ambassador and other members of the embassy take advantage of their


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visits outside the capital to meet with community leaders and to discuss their concerns with the local Turkish authorities.

National Minorities

Sir Donald Thompson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) when he expects to ratify the Council of Europe framework convention for the protection of national minorities; and if he will make a statement;

(2) if he will make a statement about the preparation of a draft protocol to the European convention of human rights concerning the protection of the rights of minorities in the cultural field.

Mr. Douglas Hogg: The Council of Europe summit in October 1993 called for the drawing up of a framework convention for the protection of national minorities, together with a draft additional protocol

"complementing the European Convention on Human Rights in the cultural field by provisions guaranteeing individual rights, in particular for persons belonging to national minorities".

The summit gave work on the framework convention the higher priority. The convention was drawn up during 1994 and opened for signature on 1 February 1995, when 21 states including the United Kingdom signed. We intend to ratify the convention in due course. The United Kingdom was fully involved in the drawing up of the convention, and is similarly engaged in the work which is in progress on the proposed additional protocol.

DUCHY OF LANCASTER

Chessington Computer Centre

Mr. McAllion: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) how he will ensure the same confidentiality and security of highly sensitive data in the event of the work handled by the Chessington computer centre being transferred to the private sector.

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure continued accountability and to guarantee commitment to correct and punctual payment of employees in the event of the Chessington computer centre being privatised.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes: If work handled by Chessington computer centre is transferred to the private sector, the confidentiality and security of data, and accountability and commitment to correct and punctual payments, would be matters on which I should need to be satisfied that adequate safeguards are in place. The detail would be for the new operator and its customers to agree on a contractual basis.

Mr. McAllion: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what steps he is taking to protect the ownership and copyright of software written in-house in the event of the Chessington computer centre being privatised.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes: The treatment of software developed in-house in the event of the privatisation of Chessington computer centre is one of the issues on which I shall be advised by the review that I announced on17 November 1994.

Mr. McAllion: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, if the review of the Chessington computer centre included an impartial and thorough analysis of all


Column 730

the options; and on what grounds the terms of reference did not contain an analysis of Chessington's record as a Government agency.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes: When Chessington computer centre was launched as an agency in 1993, the then Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster announced that it was a definite candidate for privatisation but that it was not being privatised immediately due to a lack of a commercial track record and of direct competition. The current review is addressing those issues. Chessington's performance as an agency is being considered as a part of the review of its commercial track record.

TRANSPORT

Bus and Airport Privatisation

Mr. Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to encourage the privatisation of local authority owned airports and bus companies.

Dr. Mawhinney: Three public airport companies have been privatised in recent years, and discussions are at various stages in relation to some of those still in the public sector. Similarly, 28 bus companies, including the eight largest, have moved successfully into the private sector.

We welcome these developments, and we are continuing to encourage other airport and bus company owners to consider seriously the options for privatisation. We have therefore decided that, for a two-year period beginning on 1 April, the set-aside rate for receipts by local authorities from sales of shares in public airport companies will be reduced from 50 per cent. to 25 per cent. We have also decided that the set-aside rate for receipts from sales of bus companies should be reduced to 25 per cent. for a one-year period from 1 April. My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for the Environment and for Wales will be making amending regulations later this month.

Fort William Rail Services

Mr. Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the cost per passenger carried on the London-Fort William sleeper/Motorail train would be, based only on the net costs saved by Railtrack and BR together, within the first year of its withdrawal; (2) pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Hertsmere (Mr. Clappison) on 20 February, Official Report , column 1, if he will set out the net costs, taking account of revenue losses, redundancy and relocation costs, expected to be saved in 1995 96 and 1996 97 by the withdrawal of the sleeper and Motorail service between London and Fort William to (a) British Rail and its subsidiaries and (b) Railtrack.

Mr. Watts: British Rail expect to save about £7 million from the proposed reduction in London to Scotland sleeper and Motorail services. The saving from withdrawing the Fort William service alone is estimated at £2.6 million. These figures do not include redundancy and relocation costs, which are non-recurring costs


Column 731

estimated at less than £300,000 for the withdrawal of the Fort William service. There are unlikely to be any savings to Railtrack. On the basis of passengers carried in 1993 94 the cost net of revenue excluding infrastructure changes is £180 per passenger. The figures are based on British Rail's best estimate, using the 1994 95 price base.

Mr. Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what evaluation he has made of the conclusions of the Director of Rail Passenger Franchising in respect of the economy and efficiency of the London to Fort William sleeper.

Mr. Watts: No final conclusions have been reached by the franchising director, who has indicated his preliminary view of which services he is minded to include in the ScotRail PSR on which consultation will take place later this year.

Marine Rescue

Mr. Ainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when the vehicles currently allocated to the auxiliary coastguard stations and marine rescue sub-centres are due to be replaced;

(2) how many incidents were dealt with by the Marine Rescue Sub-centre at Swansea and at Liverpool in each year since 1988 which would formerly have been dealt with by the Hartland and Ramsay Centres.

(3) how many individuals have been assisted by the marine rescue sub- centres at (a) Swansea and (b) Liverpool in each year since 1988; and how many fatalities occurred in each year in the sectors covered by (i) Swansea and (ii) Liverpool;

(4) if he will list the type of vehicle stationed at Swansea, Milford Haven, Holyhead and Liverpool auxiliary stations and marine rescue sub- centres and when those vehicles were first registered; (5) how many auxiliary coastguard stations there are around the United Kingdom coast; and how many are equipped with one or more vehicles of their own;

(6) at what rate sector officers are paid when required to cover staff shortages on marine rescue sub-centres;

(7) how many (a) fatalities occurred and (b) individuals were assisted in the sectors covered by the Milford Haven and Liverpool coastguard stations in each year from 1988 to 1994;

(8) how many times serious incidents have occurred when marine rescue sub- centres were understaffed at Swansea, Milford Haven, Holyhead and Liverpool; and what action was taken to overcome the shortage of staff;

(9) how many times sector officers have been withdrawn from their offices to provide cover in marine rescue sub-centres at (a) Swansea, (b) Milford Haven, (c) Holyhead and (d) Liverpool since 1988;

(10) when actual staffing levels have fallen below the guideline staffing levels at Swansea and Liverpool marine rescue sub-centres since 1988; and by how much on each occasion in staff hours; (11) what were the staffing levels at a (a) the Swansea marine rescue sub-centre and (b) Liverpool marine rescue sub-centre in each year from 1985 to 1994.

Mr. Norris: These are operational matters for the Coastguard Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.


Column 732

Letter from C. J. Harris to Mr. Nick Ainger, dated 3 March 1995: The Secretary of State for Transport has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions as these questions deal with operational matters, for which I have responsibility as Chief Executive.

PO 1017/94/95 Casualty information prior to 1 January 1990 is not available in the format requested. Since then the number of occasions when the following rescue centres were understaffed during a serious incident are listed below:


Centre             |Incidents          

---------------------------------------

MRCC Swansea       |Nil                

MRSC Milford Haven |Nil                

MRSC Holyhead      |Nil                

MRSC Liverpool     |Nil                

Contingency plans exist to reinforce   

Operations Room manning in the event   

of a serious incident, firstly by the  

management and subsequently with off   

duty watch officers.                   

PQ 1018/94/95. Casualty information prior to 1 January 1990 is not available in the format requested.


                     |Milford                      

                     |Haven    |Liverpool          

---------------------------------------------------

(a) Fatalities                                     

1990                 |8        |9                  

1991                 |6        |11                 

1992                 |10       |6                  

1993                 |3        |15                 

1994                 |6        |14                 

                                                   

(b) Assisted/Rescued                               

1990                 |693      |469                

1991                 |422      |491                

1992                 |638      |1,014              

1993                 |614      |620                

1994                 |509      |581                

PQ 1019/94/95. There is no change to a Sector Officer's rate of pay when on watchkeeping duties.

PQ 1020/94/95. There are 396 coastal response teams, 277 of which are equipped with one or more vehicles of their own. PQ 1021/94/95. The information requested in this PQ is detailed below:


Swansea District Vehicle Data                                                   

Station             |Vehicle type       |When registered                        

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Penarth             |4 wheel drive (4WD)|1981                                   

                    |Replaced by 4WD    |1995                                   

Hartland            |4WD                |1983                                   

                    |Replaced by 4WD    |1995                                   

Llantwit Major      |4WD                |1984                                   

Croyde              |4WD                |1985                                   

Westward HO         |4WD                |1986                                   

Chepstow            |4WD                |1990                                   

Mumbles             |4WD                |1990                                   

Burnham on Sea      |4WD                |1990                                   

Rhossili            |4WD                |1990                                   

Countisbury         |4WD                |1990                                   

Portishead          |4WD                |1991                                   

Pembrey             |4WD                |1991                                   

Weston super Mare   |4WD                |1992                                   

Ilfracombe          |4WD                |1992                                   

Porthcawl           |4WD                |1992                                   

Porlock             |4WD                |1993                                   

Barry Island        |Saloon             |1993                                   

Oxwich              |Saloon             |1993                                   

Minehead            |Saloon             |1993                                   

Morthoe             |Saloon             |1993                                   

Instow              |Saloon             |1993                                   

Port Talbot         |Saloon             |1993                                   

Clevedon            |Estate             |1994                                   

Watchet             |4WD                |1994                                   


Milford Haven District Vehicle Data                                

Station            |Vehicle Type   |When registered                

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Gwbert             |4WD            |1984                           

Aberystwyth        |4WD            |1985                           

St. Davids         |4WD            |1986                           

                   |Replaced by 4WD|1995                           

Tenby              |4WD            |1986                           

Broadhaven         |4WD            |1986                           

Aberdovey          |4WD            |1990                           

St. Govans         |4WD            |1990                           

Dale               |4WD            |1991                           

Fishguard          |4WD            |1993                           

Manobier           |Saloon         |1993                           

Moylegrove         |Saloon         |1993                           

Borth              |Saloon         |1993                           

New Quay           |4WD            |1994                           

Wooltack Point     |Saloon         |1994                           

Milford Haven MRSC |Saloon         |1994                           


Holyhead District Vehicle Data                                              

Station            |Vehicle type      |When registered                      

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Criccieth          |4WD               |1983                                 

                   |Replaced by 4WD   |1995                                 

Barmouth           |4WD               |1984                                 

Abersoch           |4WD               |1985                                 

Rhosneiger         |4WD               |1986                                 

Porthdinllaen      |4WD               |1986                                 

                   |Saloon            |1993                                 

Rhyl               |4WD               |1990                                 

Bangor             |Van               |1990                                 

                   |Replaced by Estate|1995                                 

Penmon             |4WD               |1991                                 

                   |Saloon            |1993                                 

Holyhead           |4WD               |1992                                 

Llandwrog          |Van               |1992                                 

Llandudno          |4WD               |1993                                 

Moelfre            |4WD               |1994                                 

Holyhead Mrsc      |Saloon            |1994                                 


Liverpool District Vehicle Data                                  

Station          |Vehicle type   |When registered                

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Knott End        |4WD            |1984                           

                 |Replaced by 4WD|1995                           

Bootle           |Van            |1985                           

Portling         |4WD            |1986                           

Fleetwood        |4WD            |1990                           

                 |Saloon         |1993                           

Whitehaven       |4WD            |1990                           

Arnside          |4WD            |1990                           

Maryport         |Van            |1990                           

Kirkcudbright    |4WD            |1991                           

                 |Saloon         |1993                           

Burgh by Sands   |4WD            |1991                           

Hoylake          |4WD            |1991                           

Liverpool MRSC   |Saloon         |1991                           

Isle of Whithorn |4WD            |1992                           

Millom           |4WD            |1992                           

Lytham St. Annes |4WD            |1992                           

Walney           |Saloon         |1993                           

Workington       |Saloon         |1993                           

Formby           |4WD            |1994                           

PO 1026/94/95. Casualty information prior to 1 January 1990 is not available in the format requested.


                   |Assisted/Rescued|Fatalities                       

----------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) MRCC Swansea                                                      

1990               |641             |26                               

1991               |1,043           |19                               

1992               |762             |7                                

1993               |966             |10                               

1994               |1,686           |5                                

                                                                      

(b) MRSC Liverpool                                                    

1990               |469             |9                                

1991               |491             |11                               

1992               |1,014           |6                                

1993               |620             |15                               

1994               |581             |14                               

PO 1027/94/95 casualty information prior to 1 January 1990 is not available in the format requested.


Incidents in the     

former Hartland      

District dealt with  

by MRCC              

Swansea              

Year   |Number       

---------------------

1990   |117          

1991   |163          

1992   |144          

1993   |187          

1994   |232          


Incidents in the     

former Ramsay        

District dealt with  

by MRSC              

Liverpool            

Year   |Number       

---------------------

1990   |36           

1991   |53           

1992   |60           

1993   |53           

1994   |78           

PO 1028/94/95 The vehicle replacement programme is flexible and decided annually depending on the condition and expected future repair costs.

PO 1054/94/95 Basic Watch Levels were introduced on 14 February 1994. Since then the Basic Watch Levels at Swansea and Liverpool rescue centres were:


                       |Number                |Number                                       

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MRCC Swansea           |1 Senior Watch Officer|3 Watch Officers                             

MRSC Liverpool         |1 Senior Watch Officer|2 Watch Officers                             

To fulfil this level of watchkeeping there are currently 4 SWOs and 13 WOs at MRCC Swansea, 

4 SWOs and 10 WOs at MRSC Liverpool.                                                        

PQ 1055/94/95. Information on watch rosters is only available from 1 January 1993.

MRCC Swansea

1993: 5 occasions of 12 hours each

1994: 217 occasions of 12 hours each

MRSC Liverpool

1993: 194 occasions of 12 hours each

1994: 153 occasions of 12 hours each

On the occasions above where availability of regular staff fell below the Basic Watch Level the shortfall was made up by the use of operations rooms assistants in compliance with extant Coastguard instructions.


Column 735

PQ 1056/94/95. Such details are unavailable. As part of their normal duties Sector Officers are required to undertake watchkeeping duties in a rescue centre, to retain competency in these duties and to provide a cross-fertilisation of local knowledge to regular operations room staff.

Railways (Debt)

Mr. Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the amount of indebtedness of Railtrack; and what plans he has to write it off.

Mr. Watts: As at 1 January 1995 the outstanding principal owed by Railtrack to the national loans fund was £1.53 billion, excluding temporary borrowing.

I have no plans at present to write off this debt.

Mr. Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what has been the cost to British Rail of servicing its accumulated debts at today's prices in each of the past 20 years.

Mr. Watts: This information is available in cash prices in British Rail's annual report and accounts.

Mr. Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received concerning the writing off of Railtrack's debts.

Mr. Watts: None

Mr. Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what basis debt was apportioned at the time of Railtrack's separation from the British Railways Board on 1 April 1994.

Mr. Watts: Decisions on debt apportionment between British Rail and Railtrack were made bearing in mind the future financial plans of the two organisations.

Office of Passenger Rail Franchising

Mr. Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising is expected to employ at 1 April, taking account of those currently employed and posts which have been advertised.

Mr. Watts: Seventy.

Mr. Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list those premises occupied or due to be occupied by the office of Passenger Rail Franchising, stating the principal terms of ownership or lease.

Mr. Watts: The Office of Passenger Rail Franchising currently occupies 26 28 Old Queen street, London SW1, in its entirety and occupies a floor at 29 35 Old Queen street. Both properties are leased. The terms of the leases are commercial and confidential.

Track Access Charges

Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information he has relating to track access charges in (a) each European Union country, (b) the United States of America and (c) Japan.

Mr. Watts: I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 10 February 1995, Official Report, column 633 . Actual track access charges in these countries are not readily identifiable or comparable with those made by Railtrack.


Column 736

British Rail Finance

Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what has been the level (a) of rebate paid by British Rail to the Treasury for each year it has been paid since 1965, and (b) of British Rail capital investments for each of those years; and what are the estimated figures for (a) and (b) for next year.

Mr. Watts: Between 1976 and March 1994 British Rail had an annual external finance requirement met by subsidy from the Government in the form of grant and borrowing, mostly from the national loans fund. Since April 1994 the railway industry has continued to receive Government support in the form of grants, but has a different financial structure in which British Rail and Railtrack have negative external finance requirements or external finance contributions, which are used to repay debt to the national loans fund.

The outturn external finance requirements from 1979 80 to 1993 94, external finance limits and contributions for 1994 95 and 1995 96 and figures for capital investment in the railways from 1965, in current prices, are as follows:


               |Investment                   

               |£ million                    

Year           |1994-95 prices               

---------------------------------------------

1965           |1.396                        

1966           |1.200                        

1967           |976                          

1968           |890                          

1969           |608                          

1970           |702                          

1971           |746                          

1972           |775                          

1973           |777                          

1974           |839                          

1975           |969                          

1976           |946                          

1977           |937                          

1978           |941                          

1979           |967                          

1980           |951                          

1981           |810                          

1982           |695                          

1983           |767                          

1984-85<1>     |786                          

1985-86        |855                          

1986-87        |819                          

1987-88        |993                          

1988-89        |977                          

1989-90        |1.119                        

1990-91        |1.216                        

1991-92        |1.442                        

1992-93        |1.552                        

1993-94        |1.188                        

1994-95        |1.000                        

<1> 15-month year due to an accounting       

change from calendar years to financial      

years.                                       

<2> Forecast outturn.                        


External Finance Requirements                                              

               |BR/RT EFR     |UR/EPS EFR    |Industry EFR                 

               |£ million     |£ million     |£ million                    

               |1994-95 prices|1994-95 prices|1994-95 prices               

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

1979-80        |1791          |-             |1.791                        

1980-81        |1672          |-             |1.672                        

1981-82        |1853          |-             |1.853                        

1982-83        |1528          |-             |1.528                        

1983-84        |1396          |-             |1.396                        

1984-85        |1713          |-             |1.713                        

1985-86        |1414          |-             |1.414                        

1986-87        |1172          |-             |1.172                        

1987-88        |781           |-             |781                          

1988-89        |505           |-             |505                          

1989-90        |811           |82            |892                          

1990-91        |1065          |186           |1.251                        

1991-92        |1241          |360           |1.600                        

1992-93        |1688          |481           |2.170                        

1993-94        |1054          |437           |1.490                        


External Finance limits and contributions             

         |BR/RT   |UR/EPS           |Industry         

         |EFC     |EFL     |Grant<1>|EFL              

------------------------------------------------------

1994-95  |-645    |217     |1,924   |<2>1,496         

1995-96  |-945    |120     |1,800   |<3>975           

Notes:                                                

<1> Estimated grant support to passenger services     

from 1994-95 includes Franchising Director grant and  

metropolitan railway grant for PTE services.          

<2> Industry external finance limit for 1994-95 may   

increase by a further £64 million to £1,560 million.  

<3> 1995-96 industry external finance limit does not  

include privatisation effects and includes an         

estimated £70 million of grant paid by Scottish       

Office via PTEs to BR.                                

Ms Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funds he has made available to British Rail as part of the public service obligation in 1990 91, 1991 92, 1992 93, 1993 94, and 1994 95; and what funds he expects to make available to British Rail or any other rail operator to subsidise socially necessary services in 1995 96, 1996 97, and 1997 98.

Mr. Watts: The information is as follows:


Public service obligation grant                             

               |Cash          |1994-95 prices               

               |£ million     |£ million                    

------------------------------------------------------------

1990-91        |602           |699                          

1991-92        |892           |975                          

1992-93        |1.155         |1,214                        

1993-94        |930           |949                          

1994-95<1>     |1,700         |1.700                        

<1> Estimate of support to passenger services, which from   

1994-95 is paid by the Franchising Director. It excludes    

metropolitan railway grant, estimated to be £224 million,   

paid by the Department of Transport to passenger transport  

authorities.                                                

In 1995 96 estimated total grant to support passenger services is £1,800 million. Of the £1,800 million, an estimated £1,610 million will be paid by the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising to British Rail and franchisees, and £190 million will be paid by the Department of Transport to passenger transport authorities.

Estimates of the level of grant support for 1996 97 and 1997 98 are not yet available.

Rail Privatisation

Ms Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funds his Department has spent, or is estimated to spend on preparations for rail privatisation, excluding funds made available to (a) British Rail,


Column 738

(b) Railtrack plc, (c) the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising and (d) the Office of the Rail Regulator, in (i) 1992 93, (ii) 1993 94, (iii) 1994 95, (iv) 1995 96 and (v) 1996 97.

Mr. Watts: The information is as follows:


          |Year     |£ million          

----------------------------------------

(i)       |1992-93  |6.7                

(ii)      |1993-94  |13.5               

(iii)     |1994-95  |14.2               

(iv)      |1995-96  |24.6               

(v)       |1996-97  |5.3                

Figures for 1994 95 onwards are current estimates and exclude main sale costs for the flotation of Railtrack, yet to be determined.

Ms Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimates were given to him by British Rail for costs arising from the restructuring of British Rail for rail privatisation in (a) the current financial year and (b) the forthcoming financial year; what funds he has made available to British Rail for reorganisation in preparation for privatisation; what funds he has made available to Railtrack to implement privatisation in 1994 95, and what is his estimate for 1995 96.

Mr. Watts: British Rail expects to spend some£78 million on reorganisation and privatisation in1994 95. Railtrack has so far spent less than £0.5 million in 1994 95 on activities solely concerned with privatisation. A precise figure cannot be given because it is impossible to differentiate between such activities and those concerned with developing and establishing Railtrack as a separate business from British Rail. Planned expenditure in 1995 96 is a matter for BR and Railtrack.

Ferry Safety

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many cases his Department has recorded in the last five years of passenger ferries which use (a) the English Channel and (b) the North sea routes from United Kingdom ports violating international regulations in respect of the minimum distance between bow doors; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Norris: This is an operational matter for the Marine Safety Agency. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from R. M. Bradley to Mr Martin Redmond, dated 3 March 1995:

The Secretary of State for Transport has asked me to reply to your Question about the number of passenger ferries, using the North Sea and Channel, that have been found violating international regulations in respect of the distance between bow doors.

In the past five years five ferries operating in the Channel, and two operating in the North Sea, have been found, by the Marine Safety Agency, not to comply with the provisions of international regulations regarding the position of the collision bulkhead and the extension above the car deck. All have now been modified to comply.


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