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28 Nov 2002 : Column 458W—continued


Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many trunk road excavations there have been in each constituency in each year since 1997; and what the cost was. [83184]

Mr. Jamieson: I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Tim Mathews, to write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from Tim Mathews to Mr. Paul Marsden, dated 28 November 2002:

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on imposing time limits on companies engaged in construction work on existing trunk roads. [83185]

Mr. Jamieson: The Highways Agency uses a variety of different forms of contract to carry out maintenance and improvement construction work on the trunk road network in England. They all incorporate a time limit to undertake the work and have contractual mechanisms to help achieve compliance with the contract duration. In addition, the Highways Agency monitors the performance of its suppliers in this respect and takes this into account in determining future opportunities.


Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research has been conducted by or for his Department on profiling users of the traveline (a) phone and (b) website services. [83524]

Mr. Jamieson: No research is currently available regarding the profiles of traveline users for either the telephone or for the website. However, the Department for Transport is currently funding a research project on behalf of the traveline partners that is partly looking at existing traveline telephone customers to find out who they are, why they are calling, what information they are requesting and what they are supplied with. The results will be available in April 2003.

The research will not look at profiles of those using the website.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent by (a) his Department and (b) other bodies on (i) branding and (ii) advertising the traveline (A) brand, (B) phone service and (C) website in each year since 1999; and if he will make a statement. [83525]

Mr. Jamieson: The Department for Transport spent £36,319 on traveline branding in 2000–01. It spent £1.025 million on an advertising campaign for the traveline phone service in 2001–02.

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Advertising by traveline partners has included adding the traveline logo to paper timetables, on bus stop posters, to publications for example in Yellow Pages and on the backs of bus tickets. All traveline partners have been asked to include traveline branding in their publications and this is now widespread among bus operators and local authorities.

The Department has spent no monies on branding the website but has followed the traveline logo branding guidelines in devising the design of the web page. The Department has not advertised the traveline web address but this is being considered in future promotions.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many tickets have been sold through the traveline service in each year that it has been in operation (a) by telephone and (b) via the internet, broken down by mode of travel; and what the total value was of tickets sold in each case. [83575]

Mr. Jamieson: Traveline does not sell tickets for any mode of transport by either telephone or via the internet.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) web page impressions and (b) unique website visitors have been registered by the Traveline website in each year that it has been in operation. [83576]

Mr. Jamieson: The traveline website is not directly managed by the Department for Transport, but by the relevant traveline partners who provide information about usage of the site to the Department.

The website was launched in 2001 with links initially to local journey planners, however, several new regional journey planners have recently been launched and these are now linked to the traveline portal site.

As the traveline site is a portal or gateway to other websites, we are not aware of the number of web pages, however traveline partners are estimating the number of individual user sessions that take place each week. This has grown steadily over the year from nothing to about 3,000 individual user inquiry sessions per week. Continued growth in usage is expected over the coming months as further regional traveline journey planners are launched and linked to the portal, and as advertising of the traveline web address starts to appear.

West Coast Main Line

Mr. Lindsay Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the upgrade of the West Coast main line. [84056]

Mr. Jamieson: A draft strategy for upgrading the West Coast Main Line was published by the Strategic Rail Authority on 9 October 2002. Comments have been invited by 16 December 2002.

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Overseas Aid

Mr. Walter: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects the UK Overseas Aid Development budget to reach the UN target level of 0.7 per cent. of gross national income. [83401]

John Healey: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave on 7 November, Official Report, column 738W.

Any timetable beyond 2005–06 for reaching the UN 0.7 per cent. target would properly be a matter for future parliaments. For this reason we believe that it is more important to look at what has actually been achieved and what is firmly budgeted for, and it is this record—rather than any aspirational timetable—that should be seen as the critical test of our commitment.

Capital Gains

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what review he is undertaking of the capital gains tax consequences of different dividend reinvestment practices in unit trusts and OEICS. [83425]

Ruth Kelly: The taxation of dividend reinvestment in United Kingdom authorised unit trusts and open-ended investment companies is long established and well understood. Tax is payable on the distribution in the same way that it would be, were the dividend actually paid out. This means that for individuals, because of the tax credit rules, only higher-rate taxpayers have any additional tax to pay.

There is no capital gains tax, or corporation tax on chargeable gains, payable until investors dispose of their units or shares. And then investors can normally treat the reinvested dividends as part of their allowable expenditure in calculating the capital gains.

The Chancellor has asked the Inland Revenue to review the taxation of investment in similar overseas collective investment schemes. He emphasised in the Pre Budget Report that the Government are committed to continuing constructive dialogue with fund managers and other stakeholders on the implementation of a new regime. In taking that work forward, the Government will listen carefully to all views. A key objective is to ensure that the competitiveness of the UK fund management industry is preserved without distorting the market for savings and investment products as a whole.

Census Data

Mr. Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the detailed census data and analysis will be available. [83484]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. John Battle, dated 28 November 2002:

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