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Stafford Railway Station

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will provide funding for greater car parking capacity at Stafford railway station. [63162]

Mr. Spellar: The provision of car parking facilities at railway stations was not a requirement of the original franchise agreements. Car parking capacity at Stafford station is a matter for the station operator, Virgin West Coast. The Strategic Rail Authority's rail passenger partnership scheme is a potential source of funding.

Rail Freight

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what (a) statutory rules, (b) guidelines and (c) regulations exist with respect to applications made to Railtrack for new freight connections; [62284]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 17 June 2002]: Agreements between Railtrack and other persons regarding new freight connections to Railtrack's network are subject to the approval or discretion of the rail regulator under section 17 or 18 of the Railways Act 1993. The rail regulator has issued directions to Railtrack under section 18 for 31, six and four new connection agreements with Railtrack in each of the last three calendar years. Any such connection is subject to the Railways Act 1993, Railway Group Standards, the Railways and Other Transport Systems (Approval of Works, Plant and Equipment) Regulation 1994, the Transport and Works Act 1992, and Part G of the Railtrack Track Access Conditions. Railtrack publishes guidance for anyone seeking to connect to its network in a publication entitled "A Guide to Freight Connections". The latest edition was published in October 1998. Substantially the same regime applies to connections which do not involve Railtrack.

Rail Track Access Charges

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the change in track access charges paid by each train operating company was from 1 April 2001, resulting from

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the increase in access charges granted to Railtrack as part of the last periodic review carried out by the ORR; and if he will make a statement. [62296]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 17 June 2002]: The fixed track access charges paid by each franchised train operating company for 2001–02 are shown in the table. In total these charges are 20.5 per cent. lower in real terms than the aggregate fixed track access charges for 2000–01. This reduction takes account of direct grants from the SRA, in the absence of which access charges would need to be higher.

A directly comparable breakdown of 2000–01 access charges by train operating company is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


Train operating companyFixed charge(11)
Cardiff Railway5,708,415
Central Trains74,823,111
South Central55,990,684
Connex South Eastern100,158,195
Gatwick Express6,643,844
Great Eastern23,781,313
Great Western Trains74,468,341
C2C (formerly LTS)17,613,747
Midland Mainline18,587,481
North West Trains80,071,189
Northern Spirit99,144,817
South West Trains78,702,527
Thames Trains20,631,385
Virgin Cross Country118,321,190
Virgin West Coast239,910,734
Wales and West38,918,620

(11) 2001–02 prices

Rail Franchises

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will make a statement on the guarantees within the franchise agreements to the train operating companies with regard to the Rail Regulator; [62299]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 17 June 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to her on 15 April 2002, Official Report, column 742W. In replacement franchises there is a similar provision in relation to changes of law. There are no generic provisions relating to Railtrack's performance.

Responsibility for awarding and managing franchises rests with the Strategic Rail Authority.

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Rail Safety

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many speed restrictions there were on the (a) east coast and (b) west coast main lines (i) in 1999 and (ii) at the latest available date. [62056]

Mr. Spellar: Railtrack inform me that on 10 June there were 47 temporary speed restrictions (TSRs) on the east coast main line and 100 on the west coast main line. Similar information was not collected by Railtrack in 1999.

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his reply of 13 May 2002, Official Report, column 508, if he will make a statement on progress on Lord Cullen's recommendations on rail safety reported by the chairman of the Health and Safety Commission; if he will place copies of correspondence received in the Library; and if he will make a statement. [61482]

Mr. Spellar: The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) has published progress reports on how the recommendations of the Cullen reports have been implemented: Part 1 on 14 March 2002 and Part 2 on 29 April 2002. These reports describe the original and revised timetables for all the recommendations and copies have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

The Secretary of State asked the HSC for a further progress report on the reasons for the delay in implementing those recommendations associated with the management of contractors. The HSC published that report on 10 June when copies were also placed in the Libraries of the House.

Network Rail

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) on what date he applied for state aid approval for the payment of £300 million to Network Rail to provide compensation for shareholders of Rail Track Group; [61269]

Mr. Spellar: The financial support package which the Government have agreed to make available to Network Rail if it is successful in acquiring Railtrack plc was notified to the European Commission on 31 May 2002. That includes the £300 million which is being made available to Network Rail in recognition of the benefits which would be delivered by an early end to Railtrack's administration.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether there is an agreed work programme of track renewal for the first year of Network Rail's trading. [61298]

Mr. Spellar: Any bidder to succeed Railtrack as the rail network operator—including Network Rail—would need to have in place a programme of track renewal to enable it to fulfil its licence condition, to maintain the rail network, in accordance with best practice and in a timely, economic and efficient manner.

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Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how much money he estimates will be raised from (a) Government and (b) private sector sources to finance Network Rail; [61251]

Mr. Spellar: Network Rail will have improved management focus, lower financing costs and no dividends to pay. Negotiations are continuing with Network Rail over its support requirements. The Government expect that any support offered to Network Rail could be found within the 10-year transport plan funding levels.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether the Government stand behind any guarantees offered by the SRA on behalf of Network Rail; [61279]

Mr. Spellar: Negotiations between Network Rail and Railtrack Group plc are continuing on a commercial confidential basis.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guarantees about the state of the rail network (a) the Government and (b) the SRA will offer to Network Rail. [61297]

Mr. Spellar: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 10 June 2002, Official Report, column 777W.

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