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Sangatte Refugee Camp

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost will be to the Strategic Rail Authority of strengthening the perimeter fence between the Sangatte refugee camp and the entrance to the channel tunnel. [65743]

Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) will contribute towards the cost of the works in progress to increase security at the Fréthun rail freight terminal, adjacent to the channel tunnel, in order to enable early resumption of full and reliable rail freight services through the channel tunnel. The works will cost around £5 million in total. The amount of the SRA contribution is still to be settled.

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Railways (Financial Support)

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the criteria are for determining whether money paid to the railway industry by (a) the Office of the Rail Regulator and (b) SRA is subject to state aid approval from the EU; [65290]

Mr. Jamieson: Apart from receiving money for its own administration, the Office of the Rail Regulator is not involved in receiving or paying out money. Any financial support provided to the railway industry by the SRA is compared with the EC state aid rules. Financial support that constitutes or may constitute a state aid, and is not covered by an existing state aid approved scheme, is notified to the Commission.

Bradford Forster Square to King's Cross Service

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason the frequency of the Bradford Forster Square to King's Cross service has been reduced to two journeys each way per day. [65230]

Mr. Jamieson: Great North Eastern Railway's Passenger Service Requirement, which is a key part of their Franchise Agreement, requires them to provide two services each weekday between London King's Cross and Bradford and one in the opposite direction. The new Summer Timetable does, however, provide an additional 11 daily trains between London and Leeds offering connections to Bradford.

Public Transport (Safety)

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has for the compulsory fitting of seat belts on coaches used to transport pupils to and from school. [65787]

Mr. Jamieson: Since 1998 all coaches specifically used to transport pupils to and from school have been required to be fitted with seat belts.

Coastguard Helicopter Services

Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what changes are proposed for coastguard helicopter services on the south coast. [65719]

Mr. Jamieson: Contracts for the provision of search and rescue helicopter services along the south coast will continue until they expire in May 2003. The future location of the helicopter that is currently based at Portland remains under discussion between the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the South West Regional Development Agency.

Iwade-Queenborough A249

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will announce the winning consortia for the Iwade-Queenborough A249 improvements; and if he will make a statement. [65594]

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Mr. Jamieson: I expect the contract for this project to be awarded in the late summer of 2003.

Road Tax

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much revenue he expects to be lost on unpaid vehicle road tax in 2002. [65788]

Mr. Jamieson: A roadside survey of vehicle excise duty evasion is currently taking place and the results will be known in the autumn.

The last such survey took place in June 1999. This showed the level of VED evasion as 3.9 per cent. of revenue due. This equated to £191 million in 2001–2. This was offset by £110 million recovered through enforcement activities.

Bus Fuel Duty Rebate

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 25 June 2002, Official Report, column 774W, on bus fuel duty rebate, what was the last occasion on which he received a representation with regards the fuel duty rebate; from whom this was received and what changes were suggested; and what the timetable is to take forward the review of bus subsidies. [66068]

Mr. Jamieson: The most recent representation we have received is a letter dated 29 May from BP Oil UK Ltd. This drew attention to the current trials of diesel emulsion fuel in London and proposed either the equalisation of the fuel duty rebate rate paid on that fuel with the rate paid on ordinary diesel or the replacement of the rebate by a payment on a per mile basis.

The review of bus subsidies will start this month and is due to be completed by the end of February 2003.

Urban Bus Challenge Fund

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the projects being operated as a result of the Urban Bus Challenge Fund, giving (a) the start date of the project, (b) the project location and (c) the money attributed to each project. [64965]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 27 June 2002]: The results of the first Urban Bus Challenge competition were announced on 2 November 2001 Official Report, column 923W-924W. This involved awards to 24 local authorities for 32 separate schemes, details of which have been placed in the Libraries of the House. 27 of these schemes have commenced and the remainder are due to be started by the local authorities concerned this financial year.

Bus Punctuality

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will give the bus punctuality figures for each of the last six years for (a) local buses including London, (b) local buses excluding London, (c) local London buses and (d) non-local buses. [64966]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 27 June 2002]: Information is not available in the form requested.

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Road and Rail Intersections

Albert Owen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in how many locations (a) motorway and trunk roads and (b) country roads in England and Wales cross railway lines. [65220]

Mr. Jamieson: The report of the Highways Agency Working Group "To Review the Standards for the Provision of Nearside Safety Fences" gives the following figures for the number of road over rail bridges:

All purpose trunk roads31364
Local roads3,955299

The figures for local road bridges over 'live' railway lines is based on replies from CSS Area Bridge Conference members as at 8 August 2001, not all replies having been completed.

Road Studies

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the answer of the right hon. Member for Tyneside, North (Mr. Byers) of 10 April 2002, Official Report, column 103W, on the M4, if he will similarly list, by road number, the studies initiated by his Department and other Government agencies covering all or part of each road making up the Strategic Road Network, including (a) multi modal, (b) Highways Agency and (c) other studies. [64964]

Mr. Spellar [holding answer 27 June 2002]: The following studies initiated by my Department on the trunk road network have been or are being taken forward:

(a) Multi-modal studies

Multi modal studies take a broad view of significant issues affecting transport corridors across all the modes, and are proposing major investments in roads and public transport. The main trunk roads within the study areas are listed below:

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Road based studies are designed to address more localised or specific problems on the trunk road network, where road improvements are expected to provide the solution.

Route Management Strategies

The principal aim of route management strategies is to develop, in consultation with the public and other stakeholders, 10-year action plans for the HA's management of trunk roads and motorways within the frameworks established by regional transport strategies.

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At any one time the Highways Agency as part of the day-to-day management of the trunk road network is progressing, and contributing to, numerous other studies concerned with development pressures, safety issues, or other matters affecting the operation of motorways and trunk roads.

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