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Rail Lines (Kent)

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when the SRA will announce the tender document for commuter trains on the new CTLR railway lines; and if he will make a statement. [46146]

Mr. Jamieson: The SRA are currently working to a provisional timetable which envisages that the letting process would start in the summer with the publication of an OJEC notice inviting expressions of interest in delivering the domestic services, including the required rolling stock. This would be followed by the issue of an invitation to negotiate [ITN] in the autumn.

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) when the SRA will publish the required electricity supply needs and costs for the London to Sittingbourne trains for the new 12 carriage 375 rolling stock with particular reference to requirements during the rush hour; [46147]

Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) is working with the industry, including Connex and Railtrack to ensure all matters connected with the replacement of slam door rolling stock are carried out effectively. Their remit covers the London—Sittingbourne route and the enhancement to the power supply system will take into account the need to operate 12 car trains on this route.

West Coast Main Line

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when the SRA's review of capacity utilisation on the West Coast Main Line will be published for consultation. [45460]

Mr. Byers: The Strategic Rail Authority began a review of the project's outputs last year. The outputs will be subject to approval by the Rail Regulator.

East London Line Extension

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment his Department has made of incorporating the

25 Mar 2002 : Column 658W

Braithwaite viaduct in the East London Line extension; and when he expects to make an announcement on this matter. [44750]

Mr. Jamieson: The Braithwaite viaduct is outside the limits of deviation established for the northern extension of the East London Line under its Transport and Works Order. London Underground Ltd. have no plans, or powers, to construct a railway on that alignment.

Consequently, there is no possibility of the Braithwaite viaduct being incorporated in the East London Line project. LUL have not sought the removal of the Braithwaite viaduct, which is now listed as a Schedule II building, as it does not form part of the East London Line works at the Bishopsgate Goodsyard. London Underground will need to obtain Listed Building consent to demolish the structures adjacent to the Braithwaite.

Rail Freight

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what studies have been undertaken by his Department on the impact of rail freight terminals on local communities. [45130]

Mr. Jamieson: Rail freight facilities are subject to approval under normal planning procedures, which take into account, among other things, the impact on the local environment.

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will list the rail freight terminals located in the UK. [45129]

Mr. Jamieson: A rail freight terminal may be any interface between rail freight services, other modes and storage facilities. They vary enormously in size and scope from a simple siding to a multi-user distribution park. Railtrack's 2001 Network Management Statement gives the number of freight facilities connected to its network, including closed sites and maintenance depots. Railtrack's website, www.freightcommercial.co.uk, contains a list of these facilities. I understand the information is also available from a commercial website, www.railfreightonline.com.

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will estimate the level of freight transported by (a) road and (b) rail each year in the UK. [45128]

Mr. Jamieson: Estimates are not made on an UK basis for both road and rail freight. The latest available comparative figures are for Great Britain in 2000:

(a) road: 1,689 million tonnes lifted and 158 billion tonne-kilometres moved.

(b) rail: 93 million tonnes lifted and 18 billion tonne-kilometres moved.

Central Railway Freight Line

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has received from the SRA regarding the (a) financial and (b) technical case for the proposed Central Railway freight line. [45005]

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Mr. Jamieson: Last year the Strategic Rail Authority provided Ministers with a high level financial and technical review of Central Railway's proposals. With the help of consultants and with the co-operation of Central Railway, the SRA are to carry out a further detailed assessment in order to further test key areas of the proposals. This is an essential piece of work if the Government are to be able to take an informed decision about Central Railway's request for a hybrid Bill. The SRA anticipates that the work will be completed by September.

Channel Tunnel Rail Freight

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what recent discussions he has had with (a) the EU Transport Commissioner and (b) the French Transport Minister on the closure of the channel tunnel rail freight facilities; [43978]

Mr. Spellar: The channel tunnel rail freight facilities have not closed.

West Somerset Railway Link

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will give financial help to the West Somerset Railway Link to the main line at Taunton. [43401]

Mr. Jamieson: There are at present no plans to do so, although it is understood that proposals are being considered by Somerset county council in the context of its Local Transport Plan.

Strategic Rail Authority

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what discussions he has had with the Strategic Rail Authority regarding the funding of multi-modal schemes; [45419]

Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority is working with my Department on the processes by which the study outcomes will be taken forward.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when the SRA's capacity utilisation strategy will be published for consultation. [45461]

Mr. Byers: The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) is planning to publish a draft Capacity Utilisation Strategy consultation document later this year.

British Transport Police

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the (a) operational and (b) target strength of the British Transport police in each BTP area was (i) in April 1997 and (ii) at the latest available date. [43950]

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Mr. Byers: The British Transport police have provided me with the following information regarding operational and target strength in 1997 and 2002. In 1997 the force recorded target numbers according to rank rather than location.

British Transport staff numbers

April 1997 March 2002
OperationalTargetOperationalTarget
Force HQ114.00109.00112.00
London North323.50308.00315.00
London South296.00308.05315.00
Midlands164.75168.00177.00
North East203.00189.10195.10
North West285.75258.30267.00
Scotland195.00203.40202.40
South West135.00128.08135.28
London Underground415.35430.00420.00
2,132.352,1772,101.932,138.78

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what new arrangements the British Transport police are implementing to ensure that no individual case is acted on on the basis of an out-of-date arrest warrant; and if he will make a statement. [45182]

Mr. Jamieson: The British Transport police (BTP) have advised that after completing their initial 15 weeks at a regional training centre recruits return to the BTP's Force Training Centre where they receive specialist training that includes the execution of arrest warrants. Further guidelines on warrants are also available internally to all BTP staff. A specialist eight-day course is also run for the BTP's Police National Computer (PNC) operators. This provides detailed knowledge on the PNC and includes procedures relating to arrest warrants.

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many Transport police were employed in each of the last five years. [45309]

Mr. Jamieson: The British Transport police have provided me with the following information:

Number of officers (full time equivalents)
19972,132
19982,095
19992,106
20002,073
20012,101


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