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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions on what date his Department informed Network Rail that it was willing to provide £300 million of support to enable it to bid for Railtrack's assets. 
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, (1) pursuant to his oral statement of 25 March 2002, Official Report, columns 58283, what the date is beyond which £300 million grant will not be available if early exit from administration is not achieved; 
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(4) pursuant to his oral statement of 25 March 2002, Official Report, column 581, what the last date is for Railtrack's exit from administration which meets the criteria for early exit in administration eligibility for a grant of £300 million. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 10 April 2002]: The Department informed Network Rail, during the week before Network Rail made its bid to Railtrack Group plc on 25 March, that it was potentially willing to offer a £300 million grant on the basis of Network Rail's proposal.
Financial support of a type similar to that negotiated by Network Rail could be available to other bidders. The Government and the SRA are willing to discuss proposals advanced by any serious bidder for Railtrack plc. The guidelines issued by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 31 October 2001, Official Report, columns 66971W, make clear that any proposal should address the basis, extent and nature of support that will be required from Government. Any support would be subject to negotiation and agreement. No other detailed proposals have been received.
The grant offer reflects the potential savings that can be delivered through an earlier exit from administration. This includes an earlier delivery of efficiency improvements; earlier improvements in network performance; avoiding any delay to the major projects identified in the SRA's Strategic Plan and an earlier end to the Government advisory costs associated with the administration.
In addition, the Network Rail bid itself offers an early implementation of a company limited by guarantee structure. This structure offers a greater alignment of the operation of the network with the wider public interest, a potentially more efficient financing structure through debt finance company and a company that re-invests surpluses back into the railway network rather than distributing them as shareholder dividends.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) if he will place in the Library written communications received by the Government from the European Commission related to the decision to allow state aid support to Railtrack in administration; 
(3) if his Department received a copy of a letter sent by the European Commission to the UK permanent representative to the EU setting out the terms on which permission for state aid had been granted for Railtrack in administration; 
(4) when the Government will submit a report under the requirements of paragraph 46 of the Community guidelines on state aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty (1999/c 288/02); 
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(5) if his Department received a copy of the decision made by the European Commission over the application made for state aid support to Railtrack in administration. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 18 April 2002]: The Secretary of State has received a copy of the decision of the European Commission setting out the terms on which state aid had been granted for Railtrack in administration for the period to 30 September 2002.
The decision of the Commission contains material that is commercially confidential. In accordance with the procedures of the Commission, the Secretary of State has made a reasoned request for the exclusion of material that should not be disclosed to third parties from the text that is published by the Commission. The Secretary of State will arrange for a copy of the decision to approve state aid granted to Railtrack plc (in administration) to be placed in the Library of both Houses of Parliament as soon as it has been published by the Commission.
The decision of the Commission requires the Department to submit a restructuring or liquidation plan or proof that the Government guaranteed loans to Railtrack have been reimbursed and the Government guarantee has been terminated by 19 August 2002. The Government will take appropriate action to satisfy this requirement in due course.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how those private investment companies making the investments will be compensated before the completed infrastructure is put back into the network nationally under special purpose vehicles. [49029R]
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what information is available to (a) train operators, (b) rolling stockleasing companies and (c) investors in infrastructure concerning individual rail projects under the 10-year transport plan to encourage private investment. [49027R]
Mr. Jamieson: The 10-Year Plan for Transport and the SRA Strategic Plan provide a broad statement on the opportunities and support available from the Government and the SRA to encourage further private sector investment in the industry. The SRA is developing a framework for Special Purpose Vehicles that will help to provide certainty and clarity in the delivery of significant infrastructure investments. The SRA will not go to the market in relation to individual projects until a proper tender is ready, and that comes downstream in the process, not at the front.
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workers have to attend a safety briefing; and what records railway companies are required to keep about such briefings. 
Mr. Jamieson: This information is not readily available. Railway companies are required to set out their arrangements for communicating information in a detailed safety case, which must be formally accepted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). HSE seeks compliance with health and safety duties through inspection and enforcement activities of HM Railway Inspectorate.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what policies and targets to reduce the number of fatal accidents and major injuries to railway workers the Health and Safety Executive has set. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) does not itself set specific safety targets but it encourages the rail industry to do so. However, HSE is pursuing a number of initiatives aimed at reducing railway staff injuries, including initiatives aimed at reducing the exposure of trackside workers to the risk of being struck by a train. The Health and Safety Commission will shortly publish a strategy for improving health and safety on the railways. This identifies a number of key areas for improvement on which the HSE will focus in its contacts with employers, including trackside worker safety. HSE encourages the setting of health and safety targets in the railway industry. The Railway Group Safety Plan for 200102 sets out a number of detailed targets, including targets for reducing risks to railway staff working on Railtrack's infrastructure.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to the answer of 7 March 2002, Official Report, column 571W, on rail safety, which organisation is responsible for auditing whether railway employers keep adequate records of assessments for safety critical work; and on how many occasions in the last five years someone without a personal track safety certificate has been found to be working on safety critical work. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) seeks to secure compliance with health and safety duties, including those in the Railways (Safety Critical Work) Regulations 1994, through the inspection and enforcement activities of HM Railway Inspectorate.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to the answer of 26 February 2002, Official Report, column 1169W, on railway worker fatalities, what records Railway Safety Ltd. holds on the number of accidents affecting (a) employees and (b) contractors; and whether it intends to collect this information separately for employees and contractors in future. 
Mr. Jamieson: Railway Safety holds records for all fatalities on railway infrastructure. The Safety Management Information System (SMIS) is a national database available to all Railway Group members, which
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provides detail on the number of accidents affecting employees, contractors, passengers and members of the public. This information is also provided in the Railway Group safety performance report, which is produced by Railway Safety on a quarterly basis and is available on their website at www. railwaysafety.org.uk. The statistics relating to accidents affecting employees and contractors are collected separately and will continue to be in the future.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what categories of railway workers have to possess (a) a safety critical work identification card, and (b) a personal track safety card; (c) how frequently railway workers have to re-apply for these cards; (d) what skills, experience and training they have to possess to qualify for these cards; (e) which organisations are permitted to issue them; and (f) how many railway workers possess each type of card. 
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