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2 Dec 2002 : Column 497W—continued


A316, Twickenham

Dr. Vincent Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will carry out a survey of traffic on the A316 in Twickenham, showing the number of vehicles using the road per hour per day; and if he will make a statement. [83660]

Mr. Jamieson: No. The A316 is the responsibility of the Mayor and Transport for London.

Channel Tunnel

Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to review the ban on the use of vehicles which use LPG fuel from the Channel Tunnel. [83519]

Mr. Jamieson: Eurotunnel's original applications for operating certificates excluded the carriage of LPG and dual-fuelled vehicles. It is for the company to come forward with proposals to extend the range of its services to include these vehicles; Eurotunnel has been keeping its policy under review. If the company does seek to extend the scope of its services to include these vehicles, it will first need the agreement of the Channel Tunnel Intergovernmental Commission, acting on the advice of the independent binational Channel Tunnel Safety Authority, to its proposals.

Cliffe Airport

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) pursuant to his answers of 26 November, refs 82497 and 82787, with whom in Thurrock venue options were discussed for holding a public consultation exhibition on the Cliffe airport option; [84471]

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Mr. Jamieson: No discussions were held with either individuals or organisations in Thurrock about possible venues for holding public exhibitions on the Cliffe option. As I set out in my answer on 26 November to my hon. Friend Official Report, column 206W, the main criteria applied in identifying suitable venues for all the exhibitions were proximity to the airport option and affected areas, venue capacity, accessibility and availability.

I also refer my hon. Friend to the statement given to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Transport on 28 November concerning the airports consultation.

Freight Policy

Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to develop the use of freight facilities grants to encourage the movement of freight off roads. [83522]

Mr. Jamieson: Freight Facilities Grant (FFG), Water or rail freight facility grants are available to encourage these modes rather than road transport

On the water side, in April of this year we published a consultation document, 'Financial Assistance for Moving Freight from Road to Inland Waterway and Maritime Transport', which set out our ideas for the development of the water FFG scheme. There was broad industry agreement with our views. We will very shortly publish our final proposals. Copies of this document will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

We expect to introduce our widened water scheme by the end of 2003. As far as rail is concerned the Strategic Rail Authority, Scottish Executive and Welsh Assembly Government who have responsibility for rail FFGs, are developing new grant schemes that will improve the targeting of support to encourage more companies to move freight by rail.

Low Cost Carriers (Aviation)

Mr. David Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to regulate low cost carriers in the UK civil aviation industry; and if he will make a statement. [84770]

Mr. Jamieson: The Government has no plans to introduce legislation specific to low cost carriers. All UK operators are subject to the same regulations and to oversight by the Civil Aviation Authority.

London Underground

Richard Ottaway: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his Answer of 25 November, Official Report, column 70W, what assessment he has made of the sufficiency of the long-term grant together with fare revenues to fund the proposed public private partnership. [84408]

Mr. Jamieson: The Government's long-term grant offer will ensure that the Tube modernisation plans are properly funded. London Underground fares are a

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matter for the Mayor. The grant offer, however, takes into consideration London Transport's planning assumption that fares would rise in line with inflation each year.


Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much money was paid to (a) Deutsche Bank, (b) Slaughter and May and (c) Ernst & Young, during Railtrack Administration. [84270]

Mr. Jamieson: To date, the Department for Transport has paid £1.7million to Deutsche Bank, £5.9 million to Slaughter & May and £15.6 million to Ernst & Young in respect of fees incurred as a result of the administration of Railtrack pic. Further fee invoices have yet to be paid.

Railways (Disabled Access)

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made towards identifying which facilities need to be improved by train operators to ensure compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. [83455]

Mr. Jamieson: The Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations made under Part V of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) set down technical requirements to be met by new trains that have entered service since 1 January 1999. The Department has also produced guidance for the industry on the application of those Regulations which provides practical advice on the application of the Regulations.

For stations, which are covered by the part III provisions of the DDA, the Strategic Rail Authority has published a Code of Practice and guidance to train operators about the preparation of Disabled Persons Protection Policies. It has invited each operator to prepare a gap analysis of the infrastructure changes which might reasonably be required to comply with the legislation. This will form the basis for the work to be done at each station.

Salisbury Bypass

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what representations he has received regarding proposals for a bypass at Salisbury; [83572]

Mr. Jamieson: The Secretary of State has received no such representations and has held no such discussion. No research has been conducted or assessed by my Department. There are no plans for a Bypass at Salisbury.

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Seaports (Policing)

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the future policing of seaports. [82305]

Mr. Jamieson: All ports are subject to normal standards of policing provided by the relevant Home Office force. However, seven ports (Bristol, Dover, Falmouth, Felixstowe, Liverpool, Tees & Hartlepool and Tilbury) also have their own dedicated police forces. We have recently carried out a review of the management and accountability of these forces and will be issuing a discussion paper outlining our findings before the end of the year.

Strategic Rail Authority

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what changes have taken place to levels of staffing within the Strategic Rail Authority and its shadow predecessor; what requirements on levels of staffing have been placed on the organisation; and how the organisation has reacted to such directions. [81742]

Mr. Spellar: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 21 November 2002, Official Report, column 274W. The Authority reports on staff numbers in its annual report and accounts. Its 2001–02 report and accounts includes the following information:

Number of staff employed, excluding Board Members and Special Constables

31 March 200231 March 2001
Strategic Rail Authority354284
BRB (Residuary) Ltd52108
Rail Passengers' Council5749
British Transport Police2,3022,215

The numbers for the British Transport Police exclude Special Constables, of which there were 73 as at 31 March 2002.

In addition, there were 11 Board Members (one executive, 10 non-executive) at 31 March 2002 and 121 members of the Rail Passengers' Council and Committees.

When it was established in July 1999 there were approximately 165 members of staff in the central shadow Strategic Rail Authority.

Underground Stations

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the Answer of 25 November, Official Report, column 74W, which London Underground stations are step free. [84769]

Mr. Jamieson: The 29 step free stations owned and operated by London Underground are:

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In addition, the 8 step-free stations served by London Underground but managed by Train Operating Companies are:

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