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Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many votes were cast by post in the (a) 1997 and (b) 2001 general elections, broken down by constituency as (i) a percentage of total votes cast and (ii) a percentage of the electorate. 
Dr. Whitehead: Figures of the number of votes cast by post, the total votes cast and the total electorate for the 1997 general election were published, by constituency, in Table 4 of "Election Expenses" (House of Commons Paper 260) in February 1999. Publication of the corresponding data for the 2001 general election was the responsibility of the Electoral Commission and is contained in the report entitled "Postal Votes, Proxy Votes and Spoilt Ballot Papers at the 2001 General Election" published on 17 January. Copies of both publications are in the Libraries of the House.
23 Jan 2002 : Column 869W
Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many and what percentage of trains operated by Thames Trains departed late from West Drayton station in each month of (a) 2000 and (b) 2001. 
Mr. Spellar: The Strategic Rail Authority do not keep performance figures disaggregated to station level. However, the following table shows a summary, by four weekly reporting period of the number of Thames Trains arriving at their destinations punctually:
|Industry period||Percentage of Thames Trains arriving at destination punctually and reliably|
|Period beginning 2 January 2000|
|Period ending 5 January 2002|
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Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Baillieston (Mr. Wray), on 8 January 2002, Official Report, column 601W, on nuclear transportation, if he will list (a) the dates and (b) the reasons for the last five occasions on which the International Atomic Energy Agency radioactive materials transport standards have been revised as a result of reviews. 
Mr. Spellar: The IAEA's Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, originally published in 1961, are kept under continuous review and revised from time-to-time, as necessary, to ensure they remain effective in the light of up-to-date radiological protection standards, technological advances and operational experience. Revisions have been made in response to proposals for change and problems identified by experts from member states and concerned international transport organisations, most recently as follows:
|Year of publication/Title||Main reason(s) for revision|
|Regulation for Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, 1996 Edition (Revised), Safety Standards Series No. TS-R-1 (ST-1, Revised)||Minor editorial amendments to 1996 Ed. Pressure test requirements aligned with International Standards|
|Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, 1996||Major revision incorporating:|
|Edition, Safety Standards Series No. ST-1||additional air transport requirements (Type 'C' package);|
|additional requirements for uranium hexafluoride;|
|enhanced immersion test requirements;|
|updated activity limits;|
|modified, radionuclide-specific exemption values.|
|Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, 1985 Edition (As Amended 1990). Safety Series No. 6||Consolidation into a single volume of the original 1985 Edition, the two previous supplement documents and inclusion of further minor changes and changes of detail.|
|Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material 1985 Edition Supplement 1988, Safety Series No. 6Supplementary 1988||Further amendments arising from a request to member states to identify problems applying the Regulations and proposals for change. Also incorporates amended texts to the supporting documents to the Regulations.|
|Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material 1985 Edition Supplement 1986, Safety Series No. 6Supplementary 1986||Corrects minor errors and introduces changes of detail, unanimously agreed by the member states by direct replacement pages to the original text.|
|Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material 1985 Edition, Safety Series No. 6||Fully revised edition carried out by expert panels beginning in 1979 and approved by the Board of Governors in 1984.|
|International System (SI) of units introduced as primary units.|
|Implements the new system of dose limitation of the 1982 Edition of the IAEA's Basic Safety Standards.|
23 Jan 2002 : Column 871W
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions by what means he intends to promote competition between train companies following the introduction of longer franchises and a single franchise serving each London terminus. 
Mr. Jamieson: The main competition for rail operators is from road and other modes of transport, and this competitive pressure would not be reduced by the introduction of larger franchises or a policy of single franchises serving each London terminus. The aim would be to produce a more reliable, cohesive and attractive service for passengers.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what additional capacity is (a) planned and (b) under consideration for the railway lines between (i) London and Portsmouth, (ii) London, Southampton and Lymington and (iii) Bristol and Brighton, and for Island Line; when he expects each improvement to be complete; what the cost will be; and how much of the cost will be met from public funds; 
Mr. Spellar: Capacity on the Portsmouth and Southampton routes will be increased in stages over the early years of the replacement South West Trains franchise through rolling stock investment. It is proposed that capacity be increased to facilitate a half-hourly service on the Bristol to Portsmouth route. Longer term increases in capacity will depend on infrastructure investment to permit longer trains to operate. These projects, and their financial arrangements, are subject to the outcome of commercial negotiations for the new South West Trains and Wessex franchises. The Strategic Rail Authority are developing a franchise proposition for the replacement of the Island Line franchise, in consultation with the Island council. Further announcements will be made by the authority in due course.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions under the 10 year plan for rail, how much public money will be available in each of the next 10 years to support (a) infrastructure investment and (b) subsidies for operating costs to (i) the Railtrack successor body and (ii) the train operating companies. 
23 Jan 2002 : Column 872W
Mr. Jamieson: The £33.5 billion of government support to the rail industry over the next 10 years, is projected to be profiled as in the table. A breakdown is provided between government capital investment and resource (revenue) expenditure.
The level of future Government subsidy provided through existing franchise contracts is detailed in the 2001 SRA annual report. No other breakdown can be provided for individual companies over each of the next 10 years.
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