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Rail Freight

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many freight trains of each freight operating company (a) arrived late by (i) more than five minutes and (ii) more than 10 minutes and (b) were cancelled (1) in each month from January 2000 to April 2002 and (2) in each year for which data are available since 1990. [50911]

Mr. Jamieson: Punctuality of freight services is a contractual matter between Railtrack and the individual freight operators.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how (a) delays and (b) cancellations of freight train services are measured; and if he will make a statement. [50910]

Mr. Jamieson: Delays and cancellations of both passenger and freight trains are measured by Railtrack through their industry-approved train operating systems.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions who the winner was of the Strategic Rail Authority's freight innovation competition; by when the winning scheme was required to be operational; what progress has been made to date with the winning scheme; and if he will make a statement. [50907]

Mr. Jamieson: There were three winning schemes in the Authority's Rail Logistics Competition: Blue Circle Industries, Exel, and Minimodal. The three projects were awarded prizes on the basis of agreed outputs, the

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type and timing of which differed for all three. The schemes are all being delivered to the agreed times and specifications.

Strategic Rail Authority

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what estimate he has made of the total fees to be paid to the Strategic Rail Authority in respect of the work they are undertaking evaluating proposals from Central Railway. [51821]

Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority are not receiving any payment relating to this review.

Railways

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what the basis is for his conclusion on the savings from advancing the end of railway administration in terms of the (a) months advanced, (b) cost per month of administration and (c) cost of savings forgone through administration; [47119]

Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I have given today to the hon. Member for Christchurch (Christopher Chope) [Ref 48214].

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many passenger miles on the rail network are hauled by (a) diesel trains and (b) electric trains. [49710]

Mr. Byers: This information is not held centrally.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many rail breaks per million there were for Railtrack in each of the last six years; and how many of these resulted from gauge corner cracking. [50658]

Mr. Byers: I understand from the Office of the Rail Regulator that the total numbers of reported broken rails in the last six years were:

Number
1996–97709
1997–98755
1998–99952
1999–2000919
2000–01706
2001–02(4)550

(4) Estimate according to data to end of period 12.


Rail Electrification

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment his Department has made of the prospects for electrification of the Waterloo to Exeter railway via Salisbury; and if he will make a statement. [50852]

Mr. Jamieson: None. In cases where clear practical advantages or environmental benefits exist, and value for money can be demonstrated, electrification may be considered.

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North-south Rail Link

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what discussions he has had with (a) representatives of the Strategic Rail Authority, (b) the Scottish Executive Minister for Transport and (c) others, regarding the SRA's decision not to run the 190 mph north-south rail link to Scotland; [51275]

Mr. Jamieson: No such decisions has been taken by the Strategic Rail Authority.

London Underground

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 26 March 2002, Official Report, columns 952–53W, on London Underground, who will make the decision on further revision to safety cases; and who determined the requirement for previous safety cases. [51453]

Mr. Jamieson: As the duty holder under the Railway (Safety Case) Regulations 2000 (as amended), London Underground is responsible for revising its railway safety case. Where a revision would make an accepted safety case "materially different", the duty holder is required to submit the proposed revision to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for assessment and consideration for acceptance. Guidance is set out in HSE's publication "Railway (Safety Case) Regulations 2000 including 2001 Amendments—Guidance on Regulations".

Decisions on previous safety cases were a matter for London Underground and the HSE.

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what powers he has to require London Underground (a) in the public sector and (b) under the control of the Mayor and Transport for London to deliver the promised improvements to (i) rolling stock, (ii) signalling equipment, (iii) track and (iv) stations of the Metropolitan line within budget and on time. [51263]

Mr. Jamieson: Under the proposals for the modernisation of London Underground three contracts for maintenance and investment work would be awarded to private sector infrastructure companies. The contracts set clear requirements for improvements to be achieved by specific dates, with significant financial penalties for any delay. In order to meet their contractual obligations the infrastructure companies would have to deliver improvements to rolling stock, signalling, track and stations on all lines, including the Metropolitan line. The infrastructure companies would also take the risk of any cost overruns that result from their own inefficient or uneconomic behaviour.

The contractual obligations would be set out in legally binding contracts between London Underground and the infrastructure companies.

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Provided a final decision is taken to proceed with the modernisation plans, it is the Secretary of State's intention to transfer London Underground to Transport for London once contracts are in place.

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what powers he has to require London Underground (a) in the public sector and (b) under the control of the Mayor and Transport for London to keep particular stations open and particular services running. [51262]

Mr. Jamieson: In relation to (a) London Underground is currently a nationalised industry, in the public sector. When it transfers to the control of Transport for London it will remain in the public sector. The Secretary of State's current powers in relation to London Underground are largely set out in the London Regional Transport Act 1984. These include a power (section 32) to give directions of a general nature, but not to require particular services to be run.

In relation to (b), the Mayor has a general duty (section 141 of the Greater London Authority Act 2000) to promote and encourage safe, integrated, efficient and economic transport facilities and services to, from and within Greater London, and is required to publish a transport strategy setting out his proposals. The Secretary of State has powers (section 143) to issue directions to revise that transport strategy if it is inconsistent with national transport policy and that inconsistency is detrimental to any area outside Greater London.

Currently the Secretary of State's consent is needed under the Railways Act 1993's Alternative Closure Procedure for the withdrawal of all underground services from a station. After the underground has come under the control of Transport for London the Mayor's consent will

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replace the Secretary of State's, but, in respect of services outside Greater London, will be subject to appeal to the Secretary of State (section 203–204 of the GLA Act and Schedule 5 of the Railways Act 1993).


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