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Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what measures he is taking to improve real time information for passengers on Britain's railways; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: We are working with transport operators, public authorities and technology providers to improve travel information on all modes. Transport Direct, a programme described in the 10 Year Transport Plan, includes real-time train operating information by 2003.
20 Jul 2001 : Column: 518W
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions which new transport infrastructure projects initiated since May 1997 will be open before June 2006. 
Mr. Jamieson: Details of relevant schemes are given under the headings of "Trunk Road Schemes"; "Railways"; and "Local Transport Major Schemes". For the purpose of this answer I have defined "initiated" as meaning that formal approval to these schemes has been given since May 1997.
|A6||Great Glen Bypass|
|A11||Roudham Heath-Attleborough Dualling|
|A41||Aston Clinton Bypass|
|A43||Whitfield Turn-Brackley Hatch Improvement|
|A66||Stainburn and Great Clifton Bypass|
|A500||Basford, Hough, Shavington Bypasss|
|A650||Bingley Relief Road|
|A1033||Hedon Road Improvement, Hull|
|A6||Rushden and Higham Ferrers Bypass|
|A10||Wadesmill-Colliers End Bypass|
|M25||Junctions 1215 Widening|
|A1(M)||Ferrybridge to Hook Moor|
|A1(M)||Wetherby to Walshford|
|M60||Junctions 58 (formerly M63 J69 Widening)|
20 Jul 2001 : Column: 519W
20 Jul 2001 : Column: 520W
Because of the delegation of responsibility for scheme management in the privatised rail industry, this list does not cover the full range of infrastructure projects. Railtrack's Network Management Statement last year provides a fuller list of schemes.
Local transport major schemes are defined as local public and integrated transport schemes, local road schemes and local highway/bridge/street lighting maintenance schemes with a capital cost of over £5 million. The following schemes have been fully or provisionally approved for funding by the Government since May 1997. In all cases where Government funding is sought, a thorough appraisal of each scheme is undertaken before approval is given. According to the latest information provided by the local authorities concerned, work on all the schemes listed is expected to be completed by June 2006.
|Barnsley||Coalfields Link Road Phases 2 and 3 (provisionally accepted)|
|Bedfordshire||A507 Ridgmont Bypass and Woburn Link|
|Bradford||A641 Manchester Road Quality Bus Scheme|
|South Bradford Integrated Transport Improvements|
|Bradford City Centre Integrated Transport Scheme (provisionally accepted)|
|Buckinghamshire||A4146 Stoke Hammond and Linslade Bypass|
|Cambridgeshire||A142 Fordham Bypass|
|Cheshire||Chester Deeside Transport System (provisionally accepted)|
|Cumbria||Carlisle N. Development Route (provisionally accepted)|
|Darlington||Eastern Transport Corridor (provisionally accepted)|
|Derby City||Derby City Centre Integrated Transport Project|
|Devon||Barnstable Western Bypass (provisionally accepted)|
|Doncaster||A19 North Bridge Project|
|A6023 Denaby Main Diversion|
|A638 Great Northern Road Quality Bus Corridor|
|Durham||Dawdon to Seaham Town Centre Link Road|
|A689 Sedgefield to Wynard Improvements (provisionally accepted)|
|A688 Wheatley Hill to Bowburn Link (provisionally accepted)|
|Essex||A131 Great Leighs Bypass|
|Gloucestershire||Gloucester South West Bypass|
|Greater Manchester PTA||Metrolink Vehicles (additional capacity)|
|Leigh Guided Busway (provisionally accepted)|
|Hampshire||South Hampshire Rapid Transit Light Rail Fareham to Gosport|
|Kent||A206 South Thames-side Development RouteStage 4|
|East Kent Access Phase 1 (provisionally accepted)|
|Leeds||Leeds Inner Road Stage 7|
|East Leeds Link Road|
|East Leeds Quality Bus Project|
|Leicestershire||Ashby Bypass Stage 2|
|Earl Shilton Bypass (provisionally accepted)|
|A607 Rearsby Bypass (provisionally accepted)|
|Lincolnshire||A1073 Spalding to Eye Improvement (provisionally accepted)|
|Manchester City||Urban Traffic Control Major Scheme|
|Manchester Metrolink Extensions|
|Manchester Street Lighting|
|Medway||A289 Gillingham Northern BypassNoise Insulation|
|Merseyside PTA||Allerton Interchange (provisionally accepted)|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||West Central Route|
|Quayside Public Transport|
|Norfolk||Broome Ellingham Bypass|
|Nar Ouse Regeneration Project (provisionally accepted)|
|North Yorkshire||Scarborough Integrated Transport Scheme|
|Nottingham City||Nottingham Express TransitLight Rail|
|Nottinghamshire||A617 Mansfield Ashfield Regeneration Route (provisionally accepted)|
|A6002/A6007 Coventry Lane Improvement|
|A617 Rainworth Bypass|
|Plymouth||Northern Corridor Major Public Transport Scheme|
|Portsmouth||Portsmouth Maintenance Project|
|Maintenance of the A2030 Eastern Road|
|Rotherham||A631 W. Bawtry Road Improvement (provisionally accepted)|
|Salford||A6042 Manchester/Salford Inner Ring Road|
|Sandwell||West Bromwich Town Centre Strategy|
|Cradley Heath Town Centre (provisionally accepted)|
|Sefton||Park Lane Improvement Scheme|
|Sheffield||Inner Relief RoadStages 2 and 3 (provisionally accepted)|
|Shropshire||A53 Hodnet Bypass|
|Somerset||Bridgwater Northern Distributor Road|
|NW Taunton Package (provisionally accepted)|
|Southend||A13 Passenger Transport Corridor|
|Biddulph Inner Bypass (provisionally accepted)|
|Rugeley Bypass (provisionally accepted)|
|Stockton on Tees||South Stockton Link|
|Stoke on Trent||Hanley Bentilee Link (provisionally accepted)|
|Suffolk||Stowmarket Relief Road (provisionally accepted)|
|Sunderland||Southern Radial Route (provisionally accepted)|
|Street Lighting (PFI)|
|Surrey||School Bus Initiative (provisionally accepted)|
|Tameside||The Glossup Spur (provisionally accepted)|
|Tyne and Wear PTA||Stephenson Corridor Jobs Link|
|Scotswood Road Improvement (provisionally accepted)|
|West Sussex||Crawley Fastway|
|Wakefield||HemsworthA1 Link Road (provisionally accepted)|
|Glasshoughton Coalfields Link Road (provisionally accepted)|
|Warrington||Urban Traffic Management and Control|
|Bridgefoot Environment Enhancement (provisionally accepted)|
|Warwickshire||Nuneaton Development Project|
|Barford Bypass (provisionally accepted)|
|Rugby Western Bypass (provisionally accepted)|
|West Midlands PTA||Outer Circle/Radial Routes|
|Hagley Road Bus Showcase|
|Metro Line Birmingham City Centre (provisionally view)(7)|
|Metro Line Wednesbury-Brierley Hill (provisionally view)(7)|
|Wolverhampton||Centre Access (provisionally accepted)|
|Worcestershire||Wyre Piddle Bypass|
(7) A provisional view on the economic appraisal prior to the promoters seeking the necessary powers under the TWA Act. Final approval will
depend on whether an updated appraisal confirms the scheme represents good value for money and satisfactory funding arrangements being made.
Where provisional approval has been given, the Government have indicated that it will be prepared to release funding subject to particular conditions being metusually completion of statutory approval processes, further work on the appraisal case or funding being secured from a third party. Where, for example, a scheme requires statutory powers from the Secretary of State under the Transport and Works Act 1992, we must carefully consider all objections and other representations received before determining the application, and this may involve the holding of a public inquiry. Completion dates for provisionally approved schemes will depend on the satisfactory compliance with the conditions laid down and the outcome of applications for statutory approval, but subject to these the best current estimate is that the listed schemes will be completed by June 2006.
20 Jul 2001 : Column: 521W
All local transport authorities in England, outside London, have also received a block of funding for local transport schemes costing less than £5 million. As local authorities have discretion over which schemes to progress during the lifetime of their local transport plans, it is not possible to list the schemes to be supported by the Government in this way.
Lawrie Quinn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to speed up the processing of major infrastructure projects in the planning system. 
20 Jul 2001 : Column: 522W
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to reform the system of public inquiries into significant transport projects; and what research his Department has commissioned into such reform. 
Mr. Byers: We need a modern and fair process for making decisions about major infrastructure projects, such as new airports, runways, rail links and roads. These projects are essential for our economic future and bring benefits through better services but they are also controversial because they can affect the lives of people living near them.
20 Jul 2001 : Column: 523W
involvement. Delay is costly and perpetuates uncertainty. Lengthy inquiries make it difficult and costly for people to be properly involved.
The package comprises national policy statements and an improved regional framework for considering individual projects, new parliamentary procedures for approving projects, improved public inquiry procedures and reform of the arrangements for compulsory purchase and compensation.
We propose that up-to-date statements of Government policy should be in place before major projects are considered in the planning system. This will help to reduce unnecessary debate at inquiry and has the potential to save a significant amount of inquiry time. The nature and approach of policy statements may vary from case to case. There would normally be prior public consultation on them so that people have the chance to comment and make an input to the policy proposed.
Last year, we put in place revised arrangements for preparing Regional Planning Guidance (RPG), incorporating regional transport strategies. The process of reviewing RPG has been completed in two regions and is well advanced in another five. PRG will help to provide greater certainty as regards the broad location of new development and the need for infrastructure improvements at the regional level.
These arrangements will be complemented and enhanced by the findings of the multi-modal studies of transport corridors currently under way. These will feed in to reviews of the transport elements of RPG during 200203. Under our new arrangements for RPG preparation we have enhanced the openness and inclusiveness of the process, including improved consultation and the chance for people to have their say, with a public examination before an independent panel.
Approval in principle for major infrastructure projects should be a matter for Parliament. Procedures will be developed which allow that. These will give people the right to object before Parliament debates the issues. Detailed aspects will be examined at a subsequent public inquiry if Parliament approves the project. We want the overall process for deciding projects to be shorter and more focused while ensuring that people affected have a full right to make their views known.
We shall introduce legislation to achieve this when a suitable opportunity arises. We shall consult beforehand on proposals for the details of the new procedures. In the meantime, we are initiating a fundamental review of the Transport and Works Act 1992, the effectiveness of whose procedures is essential to delivering rail, tram and other forms of infrastructure falling within its scope.
Public inquiries are and will remain an important feature of the planning process. They are a tried and tested way of exploring the issues in public and giving people the chance to make an input to decisions. We shall improve the procedures for dealing with major projects at inquiry by way of further changes over and above the streamlining measures we introduced for planning inquiries generally last August. These will include stricter time-tabling and more clearly focused terms of reference, supplemented by a range of measures to tackle issues more flexibly and manage the inquiry process better.
20 Jul 2001 : Column: 524W
In the light or responses to our 1999 consultation paper on streamlining the processing of major projects through the planning system, we also propose to add to inspectors' powers to deal with matters pre-inquiry. We do not intend to proceed with proposals to abolish the right of parties to cross-examine others. We shall bring forward new rules to implement the changes as soon as practicable. Similar changes will also be made where necessary for projects proceeding under other statutory regimes, such as the Highways Act 1980.
The implementation of major infrastructure projects sometimes depends on the compulsory acquisition of land. We propose to improve the operation of the compulsory purchase and compensation system so that it is more efficient, effective and fair. We are examining the compensation arrangements for people affected by proposed developments. The report of a fundamental review of the laws and procedures was published last year. The Law Commission have begun to look at how the legislation can be consolidated, codified and updated. We intend to make a policy statement on the way forward in the autumn. We shall also be publishing a new advice manual and good practice guide for everyone involved in the operation of the procedures.
A modern infrastructure system is essential to promote enterprise and competitiveness and underpin our economy. the measures I have announced today will help to get projects in place more quickly by streamlining the procedures and cutting unnecessary delay while ensuring that the process remains open and fair and democratically accountable.
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