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1. Figures are by calendar year.
2. Reliable data are not available pre 1997.
3. Turnover excludes those who retired, left on TUPE grounds, left on voluntary redundancy/severance terms or reached the end of contract.
4. Figures for 2001 are to the end of November and exclude the infrastructure companies.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how frequently London Underground carries out detailed surveys of its track; and if he will make a statement on the most recent survey. 
London Underground acknowledges that its track needs major investment. The age and quality of the track requires intensive maintenance and/or the imposition of speed restrictions to enable services to run safely. With limited resources for investment, London Underground has had to prioritise the level of track renewals to ensure that the overall conditions do not deteriorate further. However, once London Underground's tube modernisation plans are in place, the investment backlog will be tackled and the standard and condition of the track will be improved significantly.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many properties in Barnet will not reach the formula rent cap level for the unit size for (a) registered social landlords and (b) council tenants by 2011. 
11 Dec 2001 : Column: 787W
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many households in Barnet in (a) registered social landlord and (b) local authority accommodation will have formula rents at the appropriate cap level for their size in 2011. 
Ms Keeble: The information is currently not available. In particular, the rate of increase of actual registered social landlord and local authority rents over the next 10 years will depend, among other things, on the outcome of future Spending Reviews (for local authority rents) and periodic reviews by the Housing Corporation (for registered social landlord rents). Moreover, individual landlords retain responsibility for rent-setting.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to ensure that all polling booths are accessible to people with physical disabilities. 
Dr. Whitehead: The SCOPE report 'Polls Apart' on the June general election concluded that there had been some improvements on polling station accessibility, but that more needs to be done. In the light of this we will continue to work, with the Electoral Commission, to secure further improvements on polling station accessibility.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent research his Department has (a) conducted, (b) commissioned and (c) made reference to with regard to the future financial viability of train operating companies. 
Mr. Jamieson: My Department conducted a study of the financial needs of all parts of the railway industry to inform the development of the 10 Year Plan and the last Spending Review. Two recent research studies were commissioned by the Department to assess Eurostar's passenger number and revenue forecasts and Freightliner's application for Track Access Grant. The Department has had regard to advice from the Strategic Rail Authority which receives monthly financial reports from train operating companies and monitors the financial position of their parent companies on a regular basis. When awarding new franchises the SRA makes assessments of bidders' financial standing.
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many staff worked within his Department's Railway Inspectorate in each month since June 1997; and what changes in the number of staff within the inspectorate are planned. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Railway Inspectorate is part of the Health and Safety Executive. Monthly staffing figures for the Railway Inspectorate are not available. Yearly staffing figures for the Railway Inspectorate since 1997 are:
|31 March 1997||85|
|31 March 1998||88|
|31 March 1999||98|
|31 March 2000||108|
|31 March 2001||145|
|30 November 2001||161|
(12) The above figures represent staff in post on the given date. They do not include additional staff employed to fill posts on an ad hoc basis (currently 20 staff).
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many reported signal failures there were on the railway infrastructure controlled by Railtrack for each month from January 2000 to November 2001. 
Mr. Jamieson: Railtrack compile figures for four-week periods rather than monthly. The reported signal failures on the railway infrastructure controlled by Railtrack for each four-week period from January 2000 to the latest date for which figures are available show:
|Year/period||Period||Number of signal failures causing delays of more than 10 minutes|
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Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what representations he has received regarding (a) the merger of and (b) closer co-operation between the Strategic Rail Authority and the Rail Regulator. 
Mr. Jamieson: We are considering how the regulatory framework can be streamlined, and my officials have had informal discussions with some industry players. A number of suggestions have been put forward.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will give details of the progress made in respect of each recommendation made by the Health and Safety Commission in its agreed action plan of August 2000 since its further progress report of February. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Health and Safety Commission published progress reports on its action plan to implement the recommendations of the Southall Rail Accident Inquiry Report in August 2000 and February 2001. No further reports are required from rail industry stakeholders until the end of the implementation period in February 2002.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many (a) private rented units, (b) social rented units and (c) owner- occupied units there were in the Greater Portsmouth area in (i) 1990, (ii) 1995 and (iii) 2000. 
|Social rented dwellings||16,625||16,550||16,491|
|Private sector dwellings||59,565||61,500||64,006|
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