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Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many and what percentage of (a) Metropolitan and (b) Piccadilly line trains departed at least five minutes late from Uxbridge in each month in (i) 2000 and (ii) 2001. 
Mr. Spellar: This is an operational matter for London Underground, who inform me that they do not hold the information requested in a readily available form and that it could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how each local authority performed against the local government performance indicators on housing benefit and council tax benefit in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Dr. Whitehead: Details of the estimated outturn performance on housing benefit and council tax benefit for individual English authorities at 31 March 2001 is available on the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions website at: www.local-regions.dtlr.gov.uk/ bestvalue/indicators/indicatorsindex.htm.
|Indicator(17)||Average||Top quartile||Median||Bottom quartile|
|76 Securitywhether authority has written and pro-active strategy for combating fraud and error (Yes/No)||89% Yes||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|77 Average cost of handling HB/CTB claim||£82.39||£102.00||£75.25||£51.00|
|78a Average time for processing new claims||50 days||35 days||45 days||60 days|
|78b Average time for processing notifications for changes of circumstance||23 days||10 days||18 days||31 days|
|78c Percentage of renewal claims processed on time||71||90||75||57|
|79a Percentage of case for which the benefit calculation was accurate||93||97||95||92|
|79b The percentage of recoverable overpayments (excluding council tax benefit) that were recovered in the year||95||70||61||48|
(17) Numbers refer to the BVPIs published in Best Value and Audit Commission Performance Indicators for 200001 available on www.local-regions/dtlr.gov.uk//bestvalue/indicators/indicatorsindex/htm
Details of the final outturn performance data for 200001 will be available shortly on the same website.
24 Jan 2002 : Column 1041W
Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent discussions he has had with his European colleagues regarding retention of the identified trans- European rail networks within the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: There have been no discussions about the TEN rail network in the UK. The Commission has published proposals to amend the guidelines governing the development of the TEN (Decision No. 1692/96), and we are about to publish a consultation document to consider the draft revisions. However, no substantial changes to the network in the UK are proposed.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many written representations he has received in the last 12 months expressing support for an elected regional assembly in the (a) South East, (b) Eastern region, (c) South West, (d) West Midlands, (e) East Midlands, (f) Yorkshire and Humberside, (g) North West and (h) North East, broken down by constituency. 
|Region||Number of written representations||Number attributable to constituencies|
|East of England||1|
|Hitchin and Harpenden||1|
|Yorkshire and Humber||1||0|
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the average time is that the Head of his Department has recommended since May 1997 between a special adviser leaving his Department and taking up outside employment; and if he will make a statement. 
24 Jan 2002 : Column 1042W
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many speed cameras the Government have part-funded in the last two years; and how many lives are estimated to have been saved as a consequence. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Government do not fund speed cameras. The cost of purchasing and operating cameras falls to the local authorities and police. Eight police force areas have been trailing a new funding system that allows some fixed penalty fine revenue to be netted-off and re-invested in speed camera operation. It is estimated that 109 fewer people were killed or seriously injured as a result of the increased enforcement in the trial areas. The new funding system is now available nationally and I fully expect, as more areas join, the numbers of those killed or seriously injured to decrease still further.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many (a) bus and (b) rail journeys there were in each year since 1995; and if he will express the figures as an index using 1997 as the base. 
|Financial year||Local bus||Index||National rail||Index|
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what progress has been made on the report from the Health and Safety Commission's working group on risks associated with road/rail interface since December 2001; if he will give a date for its publication; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: The report is progressing to schedule and I understand from the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) that it will be discussed by them on 12 February. It remains the hope of the HSC that its report will be available in the first quarter of 2002. I look forward to receiving the report when Ministers will consider any recommendations contained therein.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the costs and viability of (a) constructing an additional railway track between Shenfield and Colchester and (b) upgrading the equivalent stretch of the A12 to dual 3. 
24 Jan 2002 : Column 1043W
Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 15 January 2002, Official Report, column 204W, on traffic signs, (1) whether the conditions under which the 1989 Guildford Direction Signs Demonstration Project were conducted met the standards that are required for similar research undertaken by his Department today; 
(3) whether the Guildford Direction Signs Demonstration Project was conducted in a car park; 
(4) what assessment he has made of the academic rigour with which the 1989 Guildford Direction Signs Demonstration Project was conducted; and if he will publish it. 
Ms Keeble: The Guildford Direction Signs Demonstration Project was used to trial a number of recommendations made in the report on the Direction Signs Review, published by the Stationery Office in 1987. The project was jointly administered by Surrey county council, Guildford borough council and the Department. It entailed the replacement of 420 directional signs across the town and its approaches with new versions. None of the work was carried out in car parks.
A number of ideas were tested, including improvements to the system of colour-coding routes to emphasise their status. This and other features illustrating good practice were incorporated in the revised Traffic Signs Regulations that followed in 1994 and in departmental guidance to highway authorities.
The project was carried out to standards similar to those which would apply to a comparable project today, with close involvement of the Department's own specialists. I have no reason to question the rigour with which the work was conducted. Descriptions of the project written by some of the individuals who took part were published in the technical press (Highways and Transportation Journal July 1989 and February 1990).
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