To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on recruitment levels and recruitment processes for railway maintenance workers in the nations and regions of the United Kingdom. 
Recruitment levels and processes are matters for those in the rail industry.
Road Links (Newcastle to Edinburgh)
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what work is planned on the A1 between Newcastle and Edinburgh; 
(2) what major infrastructure work has been carried out on the A1 between Newcastle and Edinburgh in the last 15 years; and in each case (a) what the aim and nature of the works were, (b) which Government body was responsible, (c) how long the works took and (d) how much the works cost; 
(3) what recent analysis has been carried out into alternative routes for traffic using the A1 between Newcastle and Edinburgh. 
I have asked the chief executive of the Highways Agency, Tim Matthews to write to the hon. Member.
Letter from David York to Mrs. Theresa May, dated 9 May 2002:
Tim Matthews has been asked by the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about the A1 between Newcastle and Edinburgh. I am replying since Tim is currently away on Highways Agency business.
The Highways Agency has responsibility for this route between Newcastle and the Scottish Border.
Works currently planned by us for that length of the road include improvements to the A1 Stannington Grade Separated Junction and widening the Newcastle Western Bypass to take account of planning conditions imposed on development at Newcastle Great Park. The latter scheme is funded wholly by the developer.
In addition, we will be carrying out maintenance work including resurfacing north of Morpeth, improving the Seven Mile Bridge north of Seaton Burn and repainting Clifton Bridge at the south end of Morpeth Bypass.
The Government Office led A1 Multi-Modal study is looking at alternatives to the A1. The study is expected to report very shortly.
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A number of works have been carried out on this length of road over the last 15 years. Prior to 1994 schemes were handled by the Department of Transport. Since 1994 the Highways Agency has been responsible. A list of those works is attached.
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If you require any further information, David Harvey in our Leeds office will be happy to assist you. He can be contacted at the Highways Agency, City House, New Station Street, Leeds, LS1 4UR or by telephone on 0113 283 5814.
|Aim and nature of scheme||Duration (if known)||Cost (if known) (£)
|A1 Stannington Diversion (Clifton to Stannington Bridge)dual carriageway bypass of Stannington Village||2 years||6.4 million
|A1 South of Alnwickupgrading to dual carriageway||7 months||0.8 million
|A1 Newcastle Western Bypass6.9 miles of dual carriageway with grade separated junctions||4 years||116.3 million
|A1 Marshall Meadows Improvement1.7 miles upgrade to dual carriageway||15 months||4.1 million
|A1 Brownieside Improvementdual carriageway bypass||17 months||5.5 million
|A1 Blagdon Bridgenew overbridge and grade separated junction||10 months||1.4 million
|A1 Hitchcroft to Cawledgeupgrade to dual carriageway||15 months||2.8 million
|A1 Felton to Laneheadupgrade to dual carriageway||9 months||2.3 million
|A1 Willowburn to Denwickupgrade to dual carriageways (currently on site)||Under construction||8 million
|A1 Newcastle Great ParkBrunton Interchange improvements(6)||9 months||800,000
(6) The scheme at Newcastle Great Park is being funded by a private developer. All other schemes have been funded by central Government.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what estimate he has made of the increase in traffic on the A1 between Newcastle and Edinburgh over the lifetime of the 10-year plan. 
The 10-year plan applies to England. As part of the work carried out in connection with the A1 multi-modal study, consultants have assessed potential traffic growth on the A1 between Newcastle and the Scottish border just north of Berwick on Tweed.
Flows on the A1 are currently:
Estimates show that in 2011 flows on the A1 are expected to be in the region of:
Fire Service College
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what targets he intends setting to assess the performance of the fire service college during 200203. 
The work of the fire service college contributes directly to the Department's aim of safe communities and its objectives of improving health and safety by reducing risks from work activity, buildings and fire. Its role is to deliver modern vocational training to the fire service of a type and to a standard that fully meets brigades' needs. The college should operate cost- effectively and should enthusiastically meet the diversity requirements of its customers and employees. In this context, I have agreed the following six targets for the fire service college in 200203.
1. To maximise the fire service college's contribution to the Government's programme to improve health, education and transport and reduce crime by:
equipping 100 per cent. of the trainers the fire service college trains to disseminate best practice and verify that by post-course assessment;
maintaining the quality of the fire service college's education, training and service delivery as externally assessed to the same or a better level of conformance achieved in the previous year, in every case; and
ensuring that the wider relevance to the community of fire prevention and fire safety is embedded in the fire service college curriculum to the extent that it features in 100 per cent. of appropriate courses.
2. To accommodate 100 per cent. of bids from UK fire brigades for courses published in the fire service college prospectus.
3. To develop within a year a capability for delivering to customer satisfaction risk management training and e-learning programmes for retained officers and for responding to any centrally determined need for decontamination training.
4. To have a series of Integrated Personal Development System compliant modules linked to five roles ready for delivery by April 2003, having obtained full stakeholder endorsement.
5. By April 2003 to further improve the agency's financial performance by:
increasing surplus by at least 2 per cent. in real terms;
achieving 6.5 per cent. return on capital employed; and
maintaining wider market business in support of UK fire brigade business by contributing 20 per cent. to overall business and creating a net contribution to fixed costs of at least £1.3 million.
6. To obtain a favourable assessment in year from Quality South West for progress towards recovering Investor in People status in 200304 and to make progress on diversity issues by:
increasing the percentage of women at middle and senior level in the fire service college; carrying out an equalities audit of the fire service college climate, facilities and products; and
equality proofing the pay system.
New Dimension Group
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what levels of additional funding have been allocated to fire services to meet the needs identified by the New Dimension Group arising from the increased level of threat from terrorism since 11 September. 
In answer to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for South Ribble (Mr. Borrow), 27 February 2002, Official Report, column 1373, I said that we were providing £53 million funding for the fire service to give further protection to the public and
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emergency services in the event of a major chemical, biological or radiological attack. We are continuing to consider the case for additional resources in the light of the information provided by the New Dimension Group.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions whether membership of New Dimension Group includes representatives of the Chief Fire Officers Association from (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland; and whether the Fire Brigades Union is represented on the group. 
Yes. The chief and assistant chief fire officers associations from Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales are represented on the New Dimension Group, as is the Fire Brigades Union.