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Unlike the current structure of social rents, which is confusing and unfair to tenants, the reforms will lead to all social tenants facing rents that reflect size, location and condition. Tenants will have a choice between paying a lower rent on a less attractive property or a higher rent on a more attractive property. Rents will be based upon a coherent approach and remain affordable, at well below market levels.
Social landlords should aim to begin reforming their rents in 200203 and to complete the process over a 10-year period. Landlords are expected to ensure that the changes in rents as a result of the reforms are no more than £2 per week in any one year above the normal inflation-linked increase.
Ms Keeble: Local transport plans are a major step forward for integrated planning of transport improvements at local level. We have doubled the amount of money available to support the very wide range of schemes that authorities have proposed. We are currently looking at authorities' reports on their progress and will make further announcements in December.
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Works will be carried out in such a way as to minimise disruption to general public and users of network;
The Highways Agency is currently identifying additional schemes that satisfy the second and third criteria and could be added to this list. The Agency has also identified 17 roads with concrete surfaces that have been opened since June 1988 and has instigated a programme of noise surveys to identify those that satisfy the fourth criterion. The list of these 17 roads was also given in the announcement of 17 October.
31. Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on progress towards installing automatic train protection across the rail network. 
Mr. Jamieson: Automatic train protection is already installed on the Great Western main line (London to Bristol), Heathrow Express and the Chiltern line. It is being installed as part of the upgrade of the west coast main line and the channel tunnel rail link. Installation of the train protection and warning system across the rail network will be completed by the end of 2003.
The Government expect to receive advice next spring from the Health and Safety Commission on taking forward the recommendations from the joint inquiry on train protection chaired by Professor Uff and Lord Cullen.
Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority has proposed the creation of a single franchise for Wales. It is considering this alongside the other options for delivering benefits to rail passengers on Welsh routes. An announcement will be made in due course.
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Ms Keeble: Our Starter Home Initiative and the Housing Corporation's programme will help 11,000 key workers to buy homes in high cost areas over the next three years. We are also reviewing planning guidance on affordable housing, including the scope for providing more key worker housing within new developments.
Mr. Jamieson: Over recent years there has been enormous improvement on the Northern line. In the last five years, £330 million has been invested in the Northern line stations, tunnels and service, plus a further £400 million of private investment to provide 106 new trains. This investment has already delivered a faster, more reliable train service, eight station modernisations (with three more in progress), 6km of new track, increased security, and more Customer Care Assistants. The percentage of schedule operated reached a record of 97 per cent. in 200001well above the network-wide performance. As a result the Northern line is now one of London Underground's (LU) top three performing lines.
Customers are noticing the improvements: Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSS) show increases in the last five years in overall satisfaction with the Northern line service from 75 per cent. to 78 per cent. However, LU is continually looking to improve customer experience further. The plans for a publicly run, privately built Tube will ensure millions of pounds of substantial investment on the Northern line. Central to these improvements will be the installation of a brand new signalling system. This will allow over 25 per cent. more trains to run in the central area. In addition over 25 miles of track will be replaced in the first seven years of the modernisation contracts. This investment will build on the improvements already made and guarantee better services for years to come.
Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions on how many occasions in (a) 2001 (b) 2000 and (c) 1999 services on the east coast main line have been disrupted owing to collapse or other failure of the overhead power cables; and what average length of delay has been caused to passenger services as a result. 
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|Total minutes delay||15,812||20,037||16,445|
|Number of incidents||143||111||80|
|Percentage of all delays on ECML||5.4||3.0||2.9|
|Total minutes delay||3,516||4,000||1,352|
|Number of incidents||14||23||20|
|Total minutes delay||(26)||387||16,445|
|Number of incidents||(26)||5||80|
|Percentage of delays on ECML||(26)||0.2||2.9|
(26) Data relating to these were not collected until 2000.
Dr. Whitehead: Our policy for London boroughs, as for other local authorities, is that local people should be able to elect a Mayor to lead their council where they so choose, and that people should not be denied the opportunity to make that choice. As stated in the Government's Urban White Paper "Our towns and cities: the future"Cm. 4911, November 2000our belief is that international experience suggests that directly elected mayors are often the best option to provide the leadership that larger towns and cities need.
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