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Affordable Housing

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many units of affordable housing have been built through the exceptions site policy in each year since 1991. [35076]

Ms Keeble: Local authorities are asked to provide information on affordable housing delivered through the planning system as part of their annual Housing Investment Programme returns. On the basis of their responses, there were 466 affordable homes completed in 1999–2000 and 321 in 2000–01 on rural exception sites. In previous years this information was not collected centrally.

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how he intends to evaluate the results of the proposed local development frameworks and the action plans in the provision of sufficient affordable housing. [35074]

Ms Keeble: Planning policy guidance note 3: 'Housing', sets out guidance on monitoring, including the supply of affordable housing delivered through the planning system. Further advice is given in "Monitoring provision of affordable housing through the planning system: towards better practice". We propose no change in these arrangements.

Council Properties

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the net change has been in each rural community with a population of less than 3,000 in England in the number of council-owned rented properties since 1991. [35056]

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Ms Keeble: Stock data at 'settlement of population' level is only collected centrally in the Census, but initial results from the 2001 Census are being processed and are unlikely to be available until early spring next year.

Humber Bridge

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what has been the cost to his Department of the suspension of debt payments on the Humber Bridge since 1 April 1998. [34781]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 8 February 2002]: Since 1 April 1998, the suspension of debt payments on the Humber Bridge has cost the Department interest on the debt of approximately £70.7 million.

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how much debt in respect of the Humber Bridge has been repaid to his Department in each of the last four years. [34782]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 8 February 2002]: The Department has received the following capital repayments:

£
1998–995,000,000.00
1999–20005,355,000.00
2000–01(42)0
2001–02(42)0

(42) Capital repayments between 2000 and 2002 have been waived so that essential maintenance work at the Humber Bridge can be undertaken.


The Department has also received the following interest repayments:

£
1998–999,149,432.38
1999–20009,614,432.38
2000–018,782,894.88
2001–02(43)5,352,479.44

(43) The Department is due to receive a further £5,552,479.44 by 31 March 2002.


Rail Safety

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list each occasion on which a vehicle has encroached on to a railway line causing disruption to rail services in the past three years. [32774]

Mr. Jamieson: The information held by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) showing the number of incidents over the last three years where vehicles have encroached on to railway lines is contained in the table. The figures provided do not however include information on whether there was any consequent disruption to services, as this information is not provided to the HSE's Railway Inspectorate. A list giving details of individual incidents over the last three years has been placed in the House Library.

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Incidents of road vehicles obstructing the line not at a level crossing

1998–991999–20002000–01Total
Motorist losing control of vehicle13101134
Loss of control from road over rail bridge0156
Criminal intent/vandalism15121138
Other55414
Total33283192

Closed-circuit Television

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what percentage of (a) underground station entrances, (b) railway station entrances and (c) bus stations in London have CCTV installed; what plans exist to extend CCTV coverage at such locations; when it is expected all such areas will have CCTV; and if he will make a statement. [33377]

Mr. Jamieson: I understand that 80 per cent. of London Underground station entrances, all entrances to London main line stations directly managed by Railtrack and all major bus stations owned by Transport for London (TfL) have CCTV installed.

Stations that are the responsibility of train operating companies, and do not currently have CCTV, will generally have CCTV installed when they undergo refurbishment.

Under PPP proposals all underground station entrances will be equipped with CCTV over eight years. TfL is currently considering how smaller off-highway bus parking facilities, some of which are used by passengers, can be installed with CCTV systems.

Local Government Finance

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if it is his policy that the revaluation of domestic properties for the purposes of council tax should be yield-neutral within each local authority. [33702]

Dr. Whitehead: Revaluation will not affect the overall yield from council tax nationally, but yield in individual local authorities may go up or down. Central Government grant will take account of changes in authorities 'local tax base'.

Railway Industry

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what steps has he taken to prevent a conflict of interest between officials in (a) his Department and (b) the SRA working on the company limited by guarantee and decision making about the future of the industry in order to satisfy the requirements of the administrator. [35798]

Mr. Jamieson: Steps have been taken to ensure appropriate demarcation between officials involved with policy relating to a CLG bid and those who will advise my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on the appraisal of a transfer scheme put forward by the administrator. In addition, my Department has appointed an independent

25 Feb 2002 : Column 793W

Compliance Officer to establish and administer ground rules for the flow of information between Government and the CLG team and other bidders. This is to ensure that the CLG bid is not unfairly advantaged and that commercially confidential information provided to Government by any bidder is handled correctly. The Compliance Officer will report directly to my right hon. Friend on this. The SRA is putting in place similar arrangements to ensure fairness between bidders.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions from what budget additional financial support to Railtrack and the administrator will be provided to cover costs from 15 April to 30 September. [35800]

Mr. Jamieson: It is anticipated that the administrator will shortly repay the current loan facility provided by the Government and that by 15 April the finance required by him will come from commercial banking facilities. Railtrack plc will continue to receive income from grant and other sources as set out in the regulator's October 2000 periodic review and in the 2 April 2001 agreement between Government and Railtrack.

Congestion Charging

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what his latest estimates are of the contributions that will be made to infrastructure investment under the 10-year plan by revenue from congestion charging schemes; [35801]

Ms Keeble: The information can be found in Annexe 3 of Transport 2010: The 10-Year Plan.

Coal Wagons (Speed Limits)

Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the reasons for different rail speed limits for coal wagons in England and Scotland. [35714]

Mr. Jamieson: The maximum permitted speed for coal wagons on class one routes in both England and Scotland is 60 mph. On other routes the maximum permitted speed is 45 mph. Most coal wagons in Scotland do not operate on class one routes, which have higher maintenance standards than other routes.


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