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Strategic Rail Authority

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the (a) subsidiary companies, (b) agencies and (c) other boards to the Strategic Rail Authority, giving their (i) responsibilities, (ii) powers and (iii) current turnovers. [66596]

Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority has the following subsidiaries:

Company name ActivityIssued share capitalPercentage SRA control
BRB (Residuary) Ltd.Custodian of property, rights and liabilities previously belonging to the British Railways Board.1100
Rail Documentation and Drawing Services Ltd.Custodian of rolling stock drawing and documents.1100
DoA Ltd.DoA Ltd. was acquired by SRA Investment Company Ltd. on 1 October 2001 for £1 from the former DTLR. DoA Ltd. holds deeds of assumption with passenger transport executives (PTEs) requiring the repayment of capital sums and interest to the PTEs.1100
SRA Investment Company Ltd.On 1 July 2001, the authority acquired SRA Investment Company Ltd. for the purpose of holding shares in new ventures in which the authority has an interest. It currently has a 100 per cent. holding in DoA Ltd. and a 50 per cent. holding in Cross London Rail Links Ltd.100100
Cross London Rail Links Ltd.On 1 August 2001, the SRA Investment Company, together with Transport Trading Ltd. acquired Cross London Rail Links Ltd. This is a joint venture for the purpose of undertaking development and design work for two new train routes across London.10050
Bridge Rail Ltd.Dormant1100
British Rail Engineering Ltd.Dormant1,000,000100
British Rail Ltd.Dormant1100
British Railways Board Ltd.Dormant1100
British Transport Hotels Ltd.Dormant9,582,537100
Britravel Nominees Ltd.Dormant100100
Cross Channel Catering Ltd.Dormant100100
Crossrail Ltd.Dormant2100
Goldings Rail Ltd.Dormant1100
Hays Rail Ltd.Dormant1100
OQS Rail Ltd.Dormant1100
Pullman Car Company Ltd.Dormant1,244,000100
Rail Property Ltd.Dormant1100
RailDirect Ltd.Dormant1100
RFD (Channel Tunnel) Ltd.Dormant10,100100
SRA Company Ltd.Dormant100100
SRA Transport Ltd.Dormant5,000100
Thameslink 2000 Ltd.Dormant2100
Tower Rail Ltd.Dormant2100


1. No current turnover figures are available for the dormant companies or the recently formed companies.

2. The latest available figure for BRB (Residuary) Ltd. is £4.7 million for the two months following formation of the subsidiary to the end of March 2001.

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East London Line

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the start of construction works on the southern extension of the East London Line. [64294]

Mr. Jamieson: London Underground are currently undertaking advance works on the northern extension. The Strategic Rail Authority, together with Transport for London and London Underground, is looking at the programme for the project as a whole, including the southern extension, as part of a project review. The review should be completed in the autumn.

Public Transport (West Sussex)

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to improve co-ordination between local bus and rail services in West Sussex. [66146]

Mr. Spellar: As part of the Government's Local Transport Plan process, West Sussex county council are introducing a number of initiatives through their plan to improve links between bus and rail services. These include the upgrade of 6 interchange stations (at Worthing, Chichester, Three Bridges, Haywards Heath, Crawley and Horsham), improvements to Railbus links, particularly with new housing developments, and the introduction and improvement of Passenger Information Terminals and freephone telephone links to the County's travel information line.

Coastal Emergency Planning

Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has held with local authorities regarding a new statutory duty for coastal emergency planning. [63748]

Mr. Jamieson: As part of the review process which culminated in the publication of the revised "National Contingency Plan for Marine Pollution from Shipping and Offshore Installations" in January 2000, officials of my Department engaged in discussions, in a working group which included representatives of local authorities, on the subject of a statutory duty to plan for shoreline clean-up and to implement such plans following marine pollution incidents.

More recently, the issue of emergency planning has been addressed in the Government's Emergency Planning Review. In the event of a generic statutory emergency

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planning duty being introduced under new legislation following that Review, the question would arise as to whether such a duty should apply to coastal local authorities' preparation of contingency plans for shoreline clean-up.

Road Safety

Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to promote safer driving. [63727]

Mr. Jamieson: One of our key road safety goals is to improve the standard of driving and our road safety strategy sets out a number of measures to achieve this. In particular we want to ensure that drivers obtain better skills and gain more experience before they take the driving test.

Quiet Road Surfacing

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 25 June 2002, Official Report, column 776W, on quiet road surfacing, if he will list the proportion of quiet road surfacing in each case according to road classification. [66066]

Mr. Jamieson: The information required to answer the question is not recorded centrally.

Rural Bus Challenge

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will list the wards served by the projects that are supported by the Rural Bus Challenge; [66566]

Mr. Jamieson: The results of the Rural Bus Challenge 2001 competition were announced in January this year, and we anticipate the results of the 2002 competition to be announced early next year.

A list of the projects that have been awarded Rural Bus Challenge funding in each of the four competitions since it was introduced in 1998 is deposited in the Library of the House. A total of £69.8 million has been awarded to 213 schemes.

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Variable Speed Limits

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research has been conducted (a) by and (b) for his Department on the effect of variable speed limits; and if he will make a statement. [66005]

Mr. Jamieson: The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) monitored trials on the effectiveness of variable speed limits outside schools. Variable message signs were installed outside schools that reduced the speed limit typically one hour around school arrival and leaving times. The results showed very little reduction in vehicle speeds and the report concluded that as a speed reducing feature they were ineffective.

Road Maintenance Backlog

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how he will ensure that funds allocated to local authorities to clear the road maintenance backlog are used for this purpose. [66010]

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Mr. Jamieson: The Best Value regime, introduced by the Local Government Act 1999, requires continuous improvement in highway maintenance. Authorities are required to report annually against Best Value indicators, which measure carriageway condition on all classes of local authority roads.

DfT is working with local authorities to develop highway management systems which will lead to more consistent standards and a better system for effective targeting of resources.

Light Transport Schemes

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the light rail schemes in operation, giving (a) the start date of operation and (b) the Government body responsible for oversight. [66577]

Mr. Jamieson: There are currently six light rail schemes in operation, as listed in the table. The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for the regulation of tram and light rail systems and tram drivers must also comply with certain highways legislation, enforced by the police.

Light rail schemeStart date
Tyne and Wear MetroOriginal system opened between 1980 and 1984
Newcastle airport extension opened 1991
Extension to Sunderland and South Hylton opened on 31 March 2002
Docklands Light Railway (London)First phase opened 1987
Bank extension opened 1991
Beckton extension opened 1994
Lewisham extension opened 1999
Manchester MetrolinkAltrincham-Bury opened 1992
Extension to Salford Quays and Eccles opened in 1999 and 2000 respectively
South Yorkshire Supertram (Sheffield)Opened in stages during 1994–95
Midland MetroOpened in 1999
Croydon TramlinkOpened in June 2000

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many light rail passengers there have been in each of the last five years. [66570]

Mr. Jamieson: The following is the most recent information available:


YearNumber of light rail passenger journeys

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on each proposed light rail scheme under consideration. [66578]

Mr. Jamieson: The light rail schemes currently being appraised by the Department for Transport on which promoters are seeking a provisional view before possible Transport and Works Act applications, are as follows:

In addition, my officials are also appraising the proposed upgrade to the Blackpool Tramway.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 25 June 2002, Official Report, column 773W, on light transport schemes, if he will (a) list the occasions on which his Department has met the promoters of individual schemes, giving the scheme and promoter in each case, (b) list the schemes to which information, support and guidance has been given and (c) list the occasions on which workshops on light rail and guided bus schemes have taken place, giving the scheme on each occasion, since 7 June 2001. [66046]

Mr. Jamieson: The following charts contain the available information on meetings and workshops. In

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addition, information, support and guidance has been provided by my Department and the relevant Government

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Office to the promoters of every scheme to the extent requested, by telephone, email or post.

List A—Meetings held with promoters of light rail schemes since 7 June 2001

Scheme and PromoterNumber of meetings
Blackpool Tram—Blackpool borough council2
Bristol and South Gloucestershire Tram Scheme—Bristol city council and South Gloucester council3
Croydon Tramlink2
Docklands LR1
Hull LRT—Hull city council1
Leeds Supertram—West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive3
Manchester Metrolink Extensions—Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive9
Midland Metro—Centro1
Nottingham Express Transit—Nottingham city council3
South Hampshire Rapid Transit—Hampshire county council2
South Yorkshire Supertram Extensions—South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive3
Meetings held with promoters of guided bus schemes since 7 June 2001
Barnsley Interchange and Busway—South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive1
South Bradford Integrated Transport Scheme—Bradford city council1
Cambridge Guided Bus—Cambridge county council1
Cambridge Guided Bus—Cambridge Rapid Transport System (Commercial)1
Chester Deeside Transport Scheme—Chester city council2
Doncaster Bus—South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive4
Crawley Fastway—West Sussex county council3
Kent Fastrack—Kent county council2
Leeds A65—West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive1
Luton-Dunstable Translink—Bedfordshire county council and Luton borough council5

List B—Workshops

Workshop on monitoring processes for light rail schemes in operation29 June 2001Approximately 45 attended from various promoters.
Workshop on light rail appraisal21 February 2002Approximately 45 attended from various promoters.
Workshop on other major public transport schemes including guided bus1 March 2002Approximately 50 attended from various promoters.
'Surgery' on funding/appraisal issues before submission of annual progress reports (31 July 2002)19 and 20 June 2002Attendance included one guided bus scheme.

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