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Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action the Government are taking to ensure that Railtrack consults with the relevant local authority before it removes trees from railway property. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 22 July 2002]: I understand that Railtrack seek to consult with local authorities and other interested parties wherever practicable.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent on maintenance of track by Railtrack in each of the financial years since 199697. 
Mr. Spellar: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given to the Hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs. May) on 18 June 2002, Official Report, column 179W.
Lawrie Quinn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the European Commission's decision of 13 February to approve state aid towards the rescue of Railtrack Plc (in administration) has been published. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Government informed the house on 13 February 2002 that state aid clearance towards the rescue of Railtrack plc in administration had been given Official Report, column 390W. However the Commission only recently published the decision and copies have been placed in the House Libraries of the House for the record.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what has been the expenditure on capital account by Railtrack in administration since being placed in administration. 
Mr. Spellar: As the administrator holds this information, and not the Department, this is a matter for him.
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Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much money has been drawn down by (a) Railtrack in administration and (b) Network Rail. 
Mr. Spellar: £1.9 billion was drawn down from the original Government loan facility, and to date, £1.2 billion has been drawn from the commercial banking facility. The Government loan facility was repaid, with interest, on 25 March 2002.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his answer of 25 June 2002, Official Report, column 7723W, on railway vandalism, if he will (a) place a copy of the speech referred to in the Library and (b) state how the Department was represented at the recent National Route Crime Group. 
Mr. Spellar: A copy of my speech to the Trespass and Vandalism on the Railways Conference on 17 October 2001 has been placed in the Libraries of the House.
The Department is not represented on the National Route Crime Group, which is a cross-industry group. However, the Health and Safety Executive and the Strategic Rail Authority are members.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action is proposed to ensure that companies involved in railway repair and maintenance continue to have access to insurance cover liability in respect of their companies' and their employees; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Spellar [holding answer 21 June 2002]: Railtrack is aware that certain infrastructure maintenance companies have experienced difficulties in renewing insurance cover; and is considering a range of alternative options in response to emerging circumstances and changing market conditions.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average present cost is of relaying one
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mile of twin track on the UK railway network with replacement rails, and what the cost was five years ago. 
Mr. Spellar [holding answer 1 July 2002]: My Department does not possess the information requested. I understand from Railtrack, however, that the cost of rail replacement will vary significantly according to track layout, maximum linespeed, tonnage capacity and other factors relating to particular lines.
Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to make a decision on the proposed public service obligation between Gatwick and Inverness. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 4 July 2002]: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport to the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross (John Thurso) following yesterday's statement on the future of air transport, Official Report, columns 84768.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to his reply of 19 December 2001, Official Report, columns 52425W, on rail delays, if he will place copies of the latest updated information in the Library. 
Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 8 July 2002, Official Report, column 665W.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has been made for his Department and the Strategic Rail Authority on the benefits of Crossrail; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: Cross London Rail Links has been charged with developing the case for Crossrail, and will be reporting to Ministers, the Mayor of London and the Strategic Rail Authority in October. The project development work will include a full assessment of the benefits Crossrail could deliver in terms of relieving congestion on the existing national rail and underground network, increasing transport accessibility and capacity in London, and its contribution to the national economy.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations his Department and the Strategic Rail Authority have received on Crossrail proposals from (a) the Royal Docks Cross Rail Group, (b) Crossrail and (c) other groups; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: A number of groups have made representations on Crossrail either to my Department, the Strategic Rail Authority, or Cross London Rail Links Ltd.particularly in response to the CLRL's Stakeholder Consultation document issued in May. The Royal Docks Crossrail Group is one. CLRL will give full consideration to all these representations in reaching a view on a preferred scheme, which will be reported to Ministers, the Mayor of London and the Strategic Rail Authority in October.
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Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what investment programmes are planned for the Great Western Rail Network; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority's Strategic Plan sets out its plans for investment in the rail network in the short, medium and longer term.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to allow increases in regulated rail fares above the current cap. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 19 July 2002]: The Strategic Rail Authority issued a consultation paper on fares on 19 July. The document sets out current policy and practice on fares regulation, and invites views. We will review our current policy on fares regulation in the light of responses to this consultation. Copies of the SRA's paper have been placed in the House Library.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made as to the changes in the level of unregulated rail fares in comparison to the RPI in each of the last three years; and if he will list those train operating companies that have increased unregulated fares above the RPI, in each of the last two years. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 19 July 2002]: The level of unregulated fares is a matter for train operating companies. The Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) has responsibility for monitoring fare levels and pricing policies. As part of its duties, the Authority has compiled a 'fares index', published in the June (200102 quarter 4) edition of National Rail Trends, available in the House Library. This details the average increase in unregulated fares since January 1999 by class of operator. Information on company specific increases is commercially confidential and is not published by the SRA.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what value for preventing a fatality is used by (a) his Department and (b) the Highways Agency when assessing cost benefit ratios on (i) the roads and (ii) the railways; and how these are calculated. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Department and the Highways Agency use an appraisal figure of £1.14 million (in 2000 prices) per fatality prevented when assessing the costs and benefits of road investments. The Department uses the same appraisal figure of £1.14 million for valuing road and rail fatalities prevented through railway investments. The final decisions on all transport investments are not just based on cost benefit ratios, but a wide range of criteria, namely: environment, economy, safety, accessibility and integration.
The appraisal value was derived from research into individual's willingness to pay for reductions in highway risk. Full details of the road values used are published annually in Highway Agency's Economics Note No. 1, which is available in the Library of the House and on the Department's website. The value is updated annually for inflation and economic growth.
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