4 Jul 2001 : Column: 155W
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when the contracts of employment of the Chairman, Chief Executive and Board members of the Strategic Rail Authority are due to expire. 
|Sir Alastair Morton (Chairman)||31 March 2002|
|Mike Grant (Chief Executive)||30 April 2004|
|Lew Adams||31 October 2001|
|Professor Begg||31 March 2002|
|Willie Gallagher||30 April 2002|
|David Grayson||30 April 2002|
|Ann Hemingway||30 April 2002|
|David Jeffries||31 October 2001|
|Pen Kent||31 October 2001|
|Jeremy Mayhew||30 April 2002|
|David Quarmby||31 October 2001|
|Janet Runin||30 April 2002|
|Kevin Small||30 April 2002|
Sir Alastair Morton has agreed that he will step down as soon as a new Chairman is appointed. The process for appointing his successor has already begun, and an appointment will be made as quickly as possible within the rules for public appointments of this kind.
The appointments of Lew Adams and David Quarmby were originally due to expire on 30 June 2001, and those of David Jeffries and Pen Kent on 31 July 2001. All have accepted short extensions to their appointments to 31 October 2001.
Mr. Spellar: The draft Directions and Guidance to the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) issued for consultation by the Secretary of State on 29 June would require the SRA to publish a first overall strategy in November 2001.
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many air traffic controllers are at present in training; how many controllers are needed to initiate the new NERC Centre at Southampton; and when he expects to receive details of training schemes proposed by the new private partners of NATS. 
4 Jul 2001 : Column: 156W
Mr. Spellar: 370 student air traffic controllers are currently undergoing training at NATS College of Air Traffic Control, or at operational units. In addition, around 50 controllers are being trained on the new Swanwick systems at any one time.
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he expects to announce (a) the completion of contract negotiations for the new (i) Chiltern, (ii) South Central and (iii) South West Trains rail franchises and (b) the preferred bidders for the East Coast Main Line and Transpennine franchises. 
Mr. Spellar: The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) will conclude negotiations and sign franchise agreements with the preferred counterparties for the new Chiltern, South Central and South West Trains rail franchises as soon as it can resolve all outstanding issues.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what discussions his Department has had with British Airways concerning plans for a runway to be built along the northern perimeter of Heathrow airport. 
Mr. Jamieson: As the then Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin), made clear on 6 June 2000, Official Report, columns 20304W, it is premature to comment on what options are being considered in the South East and East of England Regional Air Services (SERAS) study. Following completion of the study there will be a public consultation on the options arising from it.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) if he will state the estimated cost of the administration of Best Value in the fire service in the last financial year; 
4 Jul 2001 : Column: 157W
Mr. Raynsford: Fire total standard spending was increased by 3.5 per cent. to £1,463 million for 200102. The settlements took account of information on spending pressures provided by the local authorities Fire Service Expenditure Forecasting Group. Best Value administration was not identified as a separate significant pressure in the group's most recent report. Information on overall costs for the fire service is not held centrally. The scale of costs is likely to be different for county fire authorities compared with single-service fire authorities, like East Sussex, which are Best Value authorities in their own right. Additional items of expenditure for single-service fire authorities include publication of Best Value performance plans and distribution of summary plans to local households.
Mr. Ian Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the conclusions of the review of planning policy for mobile phone masts. 
Dr. Whitehead: Under the Building Regulations, builders are required to calculate the energy rating of a new home and to place a notice of the energy rating there. In addition, we are proposing to make it a new requirement of the Building Regulations that builders should provide occupiers of new homes with information on operation and maintenance of the heating and hot water services in ways that would help to optimise energy consumption.
Mr. Spellar: All local highway authorities in England (excluding London) were asked to produce a cycling strategy as part of their local transport plans (LTPs) last year. This should identify gaps in the local network and potential improvements to the cycling infrastructure. Almost all authorities subsequently included strategies for cycling as part of their LTP submissions. Initial monitoring suggests that the strategies will result in considerable additional provision for cycling. The London boroughs will be expected to implement the policies for cycling contained in the Mayor's Transport Strategy, which is due for publication in the summer.
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Mr. Spellar [holding answer 3 July 2001]: The Government are committed to quadrupling the number of cycling trips, from a 1996 base, by 2012, and in the 10-Year Transport Plan, we have set an interim target of tripling the number of cycling trips between 2000 and 2010. The local transport settlement provided £8.4 billion of Government funding which will help to promote sustainable transport measures, including cycling. The cycling strategies in local authorities' local transport plans will provide opportunities to improve the cycling infrastructure and make cycling more accessible.
Action is being taken to effectively market the key messages of the National Cycling Strategy (NCS). An NCS website has been launched and a promotional video has been produced. A series of cycling seminars has just been concluded across England, which provided a good opportunity for local authorities, major employers and health and education practitioners to come together.
We are also re-organising the way the National Cycle Forum, which co-ordinates progress on the NCS, works. The current Forum will be reconstituted, meeting annually to review progress on delivering the NCS, and to set the policy agenda for the year ahead. An executive board is to be established with the task of securing NCS objectives and developing broad policies established by the NCF. The NCS Board will be 810 people strong. We have advertised for a Chairperson, and are considering the applications at present.
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