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Railtrack (Redundancies)

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the recent changes in Railtrack's maintenance and renewal contracts that have resulted in redundancies in the Crewe area. [144070]

Mr. Hill: I understand from Railtrack that from next April responsibility for maintaining the infrastructure of that section of the west coast main line covering the Crewe area will transfer from GTRM to Jarvis under a new contract. The GTRM staff are also due to transfer to Jarvis. The issue of subsequent staffing levels within GTRM and Jarvis will be a matter for the companies.

Eurostar Rolling Stock

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how much he estimates will be contributed to public funds from the sale of the moth-balled Eurostar rolling stock to Canada; what talks have been held with the leasing companies about such sales; and what has been the total cost to public funds, including compensation paid, of the provision of rolling stock meant for services north of London. [143708]

Mr. Hill [holding answer 21 December 2000]: Under the terms of the agreement with the manufacturers of the European Night Services (ENS) rolling stock, the ENS shareholders were to receive a share in any sale proceeds if the price paid for the rolling stock was above a certain level. Unfortunately I understand from Eurostar (UK) Ltd. that the proceeds of this sale were not above that threshold and that there will therefore be no contribution from the sale.

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The Government have held no talks with leasing companies since the original agreement was reached in 1998.

The rolling stock meant for services north of London includes both the sleeper carriages for European Night Services and the Regional Eurostar rolling stock. The Government incurred a cost of £109 million when the leases for the rolling stock were terminated and the Government guarantee was called.

The Regional Eurostar sets originally cost £180 million. The Government consented to a sale and leaseback arrangement in 1998 to ease Eurostar's cash flow problems and Eurostar has subsequently arranged a further leasing arrangement on two of the Regional Eurostar sets to allow their use on the east coast main line. The details of this arrangement are a commercial matter between the two parties involved.

Railway Subsidy

Mr. Hurst: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how much public subsidy was awarded to private railway undertakings in each of the years 1996 to 2000. [143902]

Mr. Hill: Train operating companies (TOCs) receive support for passenger rail services (SPRS) from the Franchising Director and income from Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs). Also, freight operating companies (FOCs) receive freight grant payments from my Department.

The table provides, for each financial year 1996-97 to 1999-2000, details of SPRS and PTE payments to the TOCs, and freight grant payments to the FOCs.

£ million cash prices

SPRS paymentsPTE paymentsFreight grant payments

Since Railtrack was privatised in 1996-97, no public money has been paid direct to the company, but its profitability is contingent on public money. Some 90 per cent. of Railtrack's income is paid to the company by TOCs and FOCs in access charges, a substantial proportion of which are supported by public money.


Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what consideration his Department is giving to grant-aiding the development of small-scale composting projects. [143909]

Mr. Mullin: The spending review provided substantial extra funds to local authorities for waste management. In particular, we shall soon consult on how to allocate the £140 million provided as a separate sum for waste and recycling, including composting. In addition, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is currently consulting on proposals for the next round of lottery funding (the New Opportunities Fund), including a new £150 million programme to foster environmental renewal

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across the UK. It is proposed that around one third of the available funding for England would help expand community sector waste reuse, recycling and composting.

Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what representations he has received from local bodies about revising the exemption from waste management licensing for small-scale composting sites; [143908]

Mr. Mullin: We are currently reviewing the exemption from waste management licensing for small-scale composting. The broad aim of our review is to continue to encourage the development of composting by the provision of a licensing exemption in a way which fulfils the objectives of article 4 of the waste framework directive--protection of the environment and human health.

We received last year the following representations from local bodies and individuals about revising the composting exemption:

Integrated Transport

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what account his integrated transport policy takes of the ease of transfer between motorcycles and the railways; and if he will make a statement. [144095]

Mr. Hill: Both our integrated transport White Paper published in 1998, and "Transport 2010--The 10-Year Plan", published in July 2000, recognise the importance of improving interchange between different modes of transport. The 10-Year Plan includes among its target outcomes (paragraph 6.62)

One of the three statutory purposes of the Strategic Rail Authority will be to contribute to the development of an integrated transport system. Meanwhile, the Franchising Director has made it clear that proposals for franchise replacement should improve the "whole journey" experience from door to door, and reduce perceived barriers to switching from private to public transport.

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The 10-Year Plan also recognises the importance of well designed and located, safe and secure park and ride facilities which can be linked to both light and heavy rail services and sets out the need to develop longer distance schemes, such as "parkways" linked to rail services.

Our guidance to authorities on local transport plans stressed the role of interchange as well as the development of local strategies for improving interchange between passenger rail and other modes.

The guidance specifically asks local authorities to consider measures to assist motorcyclists in making integrated journeys, such as secure parking, good access and suitable facilities at public transport interchanges.

Derelict Land Grant

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how much was paid out in Derelict Land Grant in each of the five years prior to its abolition; how many sites benefited; and if he will reinstate the grant as an instrument for bringing brownfield sites back into productive use. [143920]

Ms Beverley Hughes: The Derelict Land Grant (DLG) scheme ceased to operate from 1994. The outturn for the years 1989-90 to 1993-94 is as follows:

£ million

Details of individual sites supported by DLG were not recorded centrally, and the information requested on sites is therefore not available.

Since the closure of DLG, support for the reclamation of derelict land continues through funding from the current physical land regeneration schemes within the Land and Property Programme. These include the Land and Property Programme, Direct Development, the former Partnership Investment Programme, Community Investment Fund, Land Stabilisation Programme and the Land Reclamation Programme (LRP).

Like the DLG, the LRP scheme provides funding to local authorities to enable them to reclaim derelict land for environmental improvement, especially where there is no incentive for the private sector to undertake the task, or no developer has yet been identified.

Given that the purposes of the DLG are now fulfilled by other schemes, the Government have no plans to reintroduce it.

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