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Mr. Jamieson: It is too early for meaningful estimates to be made. However, to date 50 groups of companies have been approved by the Inland Revenue for entry into tonnage tax. These 50 groups, and eight more, have received approval from the DTLR of their training commitments. This equates to about 509 officer training places.
We believe that recent changes we have made to the Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) scheme, together with the tonnage tax training commitments, will lead to a significant increase in seafarer recruitment.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions which Department receives the overstay charges from utility services for any work not completed within the agreed period under Section 74A of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. 
Ms Keeble: Where a highway authority chooses to impose overstay charges on utility companies, under section 74 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, the authority can keep the moneys received to meet the cost of operating the charging scheme and can spend any surplus on developing policies for the promotion and encouragement of safe, integrated, efficient and economic
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transport facilities and services to, from and within their area. The proceeds are not retained by central Government.
Section 74A of the 1991 Act covers a separate system, under which undertakers carrying out works have to pay a daily charge from the outset of works, or "lane rental". Pilots schemes testing these powers are currently under way in Middlesbrough and the London borough of Camden. Again, the highway authority is permitted to retain the proceeds of the charging scheme.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many responses to the consultation on abandoned cars were received; how many were (a) supportive of and (b) against reducing the notice period for removal; when he expects to bring forward proposals for reform; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 10 April a package of measures that the Government had taken to deal with the problem of abandoned vehicles. New regulations came into effect on 9 April to reduce the notice periods after which abandoned vehicles could be removed and disposed of. It is now possible where vehicles of no value have been abandoned on the highway for a local authority to remove and dispose of them on the termination of a 24 hour notice. In addition, measures were announced to promote joint working between local authorities and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.
The Government's consultation on abandoned cars issued in October 2001 attracted 361 responses from organisations and individuals. Over half of the respondents were local authorities. A full report has been placed in the Libraries of the House, giving a breakdown of responses and a full list of respondents.
In general respondents supported the Government's proposals. 115 respondents expressed support for the proposals as a whole, 155 expressed a general support for immediate measures including the reduction of notice periods, with 46 expressly supporting the reduction of notice periods. There was very little opposition to the proposals.
Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on progress of the implementation of the Private Hire Vehicle Registration (London) Act 1998. 
Mr. Jamieson: Responsibility for the regulation of private hire vehicles in London has been passed to the Mayor. The Public Carriage Office undertakes the licensing function as part of Transport for London.
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number of vehicle kilometres travelled is in each of the last five years by (a) lorries, (b) cars and (c) all vehicles. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Department commissioned trials over several years to establish the effectiveness and suitability of vehicle activated signs and the results are being collated into a report to be published during the summer.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how much the Ten Year Transport Plan estimates will be raised in (a) congestion/road charging schemes and (b) work place parking charge schemes over the period of the plan. 
Mr. Byers: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State, to the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling) on 25 February 2002, Official Report, column 791W.
Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what steps he is taking to ensure that the provisions of the Channel Tunnel Act 1987 concerning regional passenger services are put into effect. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Transport Act 2000 repealed the part of the Channel Tunnel Act 1987 concerning regional passenger services and, as of 2001, the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) has a duty under S206(4) of the Transport Act 2000 to formulate a strategy for British passenger services through the Channel Tunnel.
In the year 2000 the British Railways Board reviewed its plan for international regional services as it was obliged to do under Section 40 of the Channel Tunnel Act 1987. This review is available on its website at www.brb.gov.uk and concludes that Regional Eurostar services would be heavily loss making and that there are no economic, environmental or social grounds for providing a subsidy.
The SRA have said that later this year they will publish a strategy relating to services in various parts of Great Britain for facilitating the carriage of passengers or goods by rail by way of the Channel Tunnel.
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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the proposals to extend platforms at Stonehouse, Gloucestershire station. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how much the Government have spent on Railtrack administration; and if he will break down the costs by the main heads of expenditure. 
Mr. Jamieson: £1.932 billion was drawn down from the Government loan facility and repaid by Railtrack plc in Administration on 25 March. £1.615 billion was used from the Trust Facility to pay pre-Administration trade and finance creditors and £0.317 billion was used from the Working Capital Facility.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what information has been provided by the Strategic Rail Authority on the increase in borrowings from their pre-administration level to the £9 billion envisaged by Network Rail. 
Mr. Jamieson: It is for bidders for Railtrack plc to set out their proposed debt finance requirements, based where appropriate on information available from the Administrator and from published sources.
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