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Shoreham Harbour

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 18 March 2002, Official Report, column 37W, on Shoreham Harbour, when he expects to announce future appointments to Shoreham Port Authority. [47562]

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Mr. Jamieson: The date of any announcement will be dependent upon the results of the interviews for these vacancies, which are yet to be held.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 18 March 2002, Official Report, column 36W, on Shoreham Harbour, what form the proposed consultation on the proposed Harbour Revision Order for Shoreham Harbour will take; and who will be consulted. [47561]

Mr. Jamieson: There is a statutory requirement of Harbour Revision Orders to be advertised once in the London Gazette and for two successive weeks in one or more local newspapers circulating in the locality of the harbour or the town in which the harbour is situated. There is then a 42 day objection period when any interested party can put their objections to the proposed order to the Secretary of State. Any other consultation in respect of this proposed order will be a matter for the Shoreham Port Authority, not my Department.

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answers of 13 and 18 March 2002, Official Report, columns 1090W and 37W, on Shoreham Harbour, for what reason no applicants for the vacant places on the Shoreham Port Authority Board have been interviewed. [47560]

Mr. Jamieson: We are currently considering the recommended shortlist of candidates to be invited to interview.

Passenger Numbers

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what the (a) passengers in excess of capacity and (b) total number of passengers was for each London commuting service train operator, and in total, broken down into (i) am peak, (ii) pm peak and (iii) total as measured in the annual survey of (1) autumn 1999 and (2) early 2001; [40266]

Mr. Jamieson: Information is available for 1990 onwards and has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Railway (Lewes and Uckfield)

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent discussions he has had regarding the possible reopening of the railway line between Lewes and Uckfield; what assessment he has made of the benefits which would derive; and if he will make a statement. [48006]

Mr. Jamieson: The Minister of State for Transport met the Wealden Line Group on 6 March to hear their case for reinstating the line between Lewes and Uckfield. The Heads of Terms for a new South Central franchise committed GoVia to produce a feasibility study for the

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Strategic Rail Authority. The new franchise agreement is currently being negotiated. The feasibility study will test the viability, affordability and value for money of the case for reinstatement of the Wealden line.

East-West Rail Link

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent estimate he has made of the impact on congestion on East-West London Underground routes during the 10-year plan period if a new Crossrail-type scheme is not opened as described in the background document to the 10-year plan. [48179]

Mr. Jamieson: The Background Analysis to the 10-year plan published in July 2000 reports, at Figure 12, page 25, my most recent estimate of the impact a Crossrail type scheme on passenger overcrowding on the London Underground.

Network Rail

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what estimate he has made of the fees that will be incurred by Network Rail in establishing its banking facilities. [47513]

Mr. Jamieson: This is a matter for Network Rail.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he has received state aid approval from the European Commission for his proposed grant of £300 million to Network Rail. [46885]

Mr. Jamieson: If Network Rail's offer for Railtrack plc's shares is successful any financial support provided to the company by Government would be notified to the European Commission as a potential state aid.

Railways

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the reliability and punctuality of (a) Thames Trains and (b) First Great Western Services on the Cotswold line between Worcester and Oxford in each year since 1997. [47597]

Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority publish performance figures for each of the train operating companies entire network in their bi-annual publication "On Track". This is placed in the Libraries of the House. Statistics for specific routes are not held centrally.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the future role of an independent economic regulator for the railways. [46969]

Mr. Byers: Independent economic regulation is and will continue to be an important element of the regulatory framework for the railways.

Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) who is responsible for deciding on the metallurgical composition of the railway track laid in the UK; [44310]

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Mr. Jamieson: These are operational matters for Railtrack.

Rail Freight

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what investment is planned to allow the increase in rail freight movements to Northern Ireland via Stanraer and Cairnryan ports. [45306]

Mr. Jamieson: I am not aware of any such plans.

Rail Investment

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the schedule is of (a) contractually and (b) provisionally agreed grants and other financial contributions from the public sector to the rail industry during the 10-year plan period. [48182]

Mr. Jamieson: The profile of public sector support was set out in the reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Lynne Jones) on 23 January 2002, Official Report, columns 871–72W.

Within this total support, the profile of network grants to Railtrack and its successor is set out in Appendix D of the Rail Regulator's October 2000 Periodic Review and in the appendices to the Regulator's letter to Railtrack of 9 April. Payments to the CTRL relate to the 1998 restructured deal with London and Continental Railways. Other grant payments, such as freight grants and the Rail Passenger Partnership fund are discussed in the SRA Strategic Plan and in the SRA Annual Report 2000–01.

Rail Speed Restrictions

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many speed restrictions are in force in the UK rail system; and what the equivalent figure was for September 2001. [47515]

Mr. Jamieson: At the end of March 2002 there were 663 temporary speed restrictions on the network. For the second part of the question I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Foster) on 12 December 2001, Official Report, columns 869–70W.

Railtrack

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the closure arrangements are for his Department's contract with Arthur Andersen for advice on matters relating to Railtrack. [45447]

Mr. Byers: The Department currently has two contracts with Arthur Andersen on matters relating to Railtrack, which can be terminated by either party at any time.

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DVLA (Lost Documents)

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many personal documents went missing from the DVLA in the last year for which records are available. [48190]

Mr. Jamieson: During the financial year 2000–01 the number of compensation claims met as a result of a customer not having received documentation, such as a passport or birth certificate, returned by DVLA in support of a driving licence application were 3,474 or 0.06 per cent. of the 5.4 million licences issued in the same period.

Of these claims Royal Mail accepted responsibility for the loss of 70 per cent. and reimbursed DVLA accordingly.


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