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10 Dec 2002 : Column 206W—continued

Central Railways

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will announce a decision about the report by the Strategic Rail Authority on Central Railways' freight proposal; and if he will make a statement. [86604]

Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Chorley (Mr Hoyle) on 28 November 2002, Official Report, column 455W.

Channel Tunnel Link

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made on the High Speed Channel Tunnel Link between the tunnel entrance and Fawkham Junction; what the expected date is of completion of this section; and when services will begin operating. [86112]

Mr. Jamieson: Section 1 of the CTRL (Channel Tunnel to Fawkham Junction, North Kent) is now over 92 per cent. complete and on target for completion and the start of services by the end of 2003.

Cliffe Airport

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will hold a Cliffe Airport proposal exhibition in Thurrock. [85628]

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Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 5 December 2002]: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Wilshire) today (85225).


Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has been made of the impact of cost inflation within the rail industry on Crossrail; and if he will make a statement. [86594]

Mr. Jamieson: Cross London Rail Links Ltd. (CLRL) has been established jointly by the Strategic Rail Authority and Transport for London to develop proposals for Crossrail. CLRL are currently examining a number of potential routes as well as developing the business case for the project and appraising the economic and other impacts of the options. Cost analysis will form part of this work.

Disabled Access

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many recent representations he has received from (a) hon. Members and (b) members of the public regarding disabled persons' difficulties in accessing (i) train station platforms and (ii) London Underground platforms. [86517]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 9 December 2002]: Since April this year the representations I have received about the difficulties experienced by disabled people accessing station platforms are as follows:

From MPsFrom the public
Train station platforms54
London Underground02

The Strategic Rail Authority's new code of practice is expected to deliver improvements in the design of new stations and refurbishment of existing infrastructure.

Also, railway stations—and other transport infrastructure—are covered by the part III provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act. From 1 October 2004 station operators will have to take reasonable steps to remove, alter or find reasonable ways of avoiding physical features which make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for a disabled person to access the service.

EQUASIS Database

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the role and success of the EQUASIS database in reducing the number of sub-standard ships registered by flag states; and what further action is planned. [86103]

Mr. Jamieson: The EQUASIS database provides the industry with freely accessible safety-related information on the quality of the world's merchant fleet, so answering calls for greater transparency. The database receives approximately 100,000 hits per month.

HQUASIS provides charterers of ships and others in the maritime industry with information on ship quality, so that substandard ships might be avoided. Increased

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usaec of the information on EQUASIS by the industry should leave operators of substandard ships increasingly marginalised.

Integration of Transport

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what financial support has been provided by (a) his Department and (b) Transport Direct for schemes relating to the integration of transport for (i) ticketing, (ii) timetabling and (iii) marketing (A) in total and (B) for each scheme supported, for each year since 1997; what the projected support is under the 10-year-plan; and what assessment has been made of the role and success of the schemes. [86084]

Mr. Jamieson: No specific financial support has been provided.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the (a) number of, (b) location of and (c) number of passengers using each scheme relating to the integration of transport for (i) ticketing, (ii) timetabling and (iii) marketing between modes in each year since 1997. [86085]

Mr. Jamieson: The Department does not keep a record of individual integration schemes. These are generally the responsibility of transport operators working in co-operation with each other, the SRA and/or local authorities or PTEs.

The Department has encouraged the work of the Journey Solutions organisation to deliver a national integrated rail/bus ticket. The scheme, PlusBus, provides a simple add-on bus option to rail rickets at one or both ends of a train journey. It is currently available at 35 stations across the National Rail network, and will be available at a further 120 stations by May 2003.

Local Authority Ports

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has been made by his Department since 19 January 2001 of the (a) safety and maintenance standards and (b) works of the local authority ports at (i) Whitby, (ii) Gillingham, (iii) Torquay, (iv) Ramsgate New Port, (v) Sunderland, (vi) Scarborough, (vii) Bristol Royal Docks, (viii) Bridport, (ix) Portsmouth Commercial Port and (x) Weymouth Harbour; what financial support has been provided by the Department in each case; and what improvements have been achieved. [86107]

Mr. Jamieson: Supplementary Credit Approvals (SCA) are available for local authority run ports to help to fund essential safety and maintenance work. The following SCA allocations been made to those listed in the question:

SCA allocations for 2000–01 issued 28 September 2001

Ramsgate New Port206,250
Portsmouth Commercial Port244,625

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Torquay surrendered a #200,000 allocation in 2000–01 as the work planned could not be carried out due to two World War Two embarkation ramps being declared buildings of historic interest (Grade II).

The final total allocation for 2000–01 was approximately #1.88 million.

SCA allocation for 2001–02 issued 30 September 2002

Ramsgate New Port75,000
Portsmouth Commercial Port30,000

SCA Letters of intent for allocation for 2002–03 issued 2 April 2002 (formal allocation to be issued by 30 September 2003)

Ramsgate New Port262,500
Portsmouth Commercial Port34,250

The Department confirms with the ports that the relevant work has been carried out.

Since January 2001 Health and Safety Executive inspectors have visited the ports at Portsmouth, Scarborough, Sunderland, Ramsgate New Port, Torquay, Weymouth and Bristol. These visits were conducted as part of HSE's planned inspection programme, or to investigate accidents or complaints, and not directly related to the SCA funding.

Offshore Oil Industry

(Secretary of State's Representative)

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his answer of 3 December 2002, Official Report, column 673W, whom he has appointed; what facilities he has at his disposal; and what budget he has. [86233]

Mr. Jamieson: The information is as follows:

(a) The Secretary of State appointed Robin Middleton as Secretary of State's Representative (SOSREP) for salvage and intervention on 4 October 1999.

(b) The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) provide him with an office and administrative support for day to day running. During incidents, specialised offshore counter pollution and salvage equipment is available at the MCA's depots at Milford Haven and Burnt Island.

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There are now also four Emergency Towing Vessels stationed all year in strategic locations around the United Kingdom. These are available to be directed by SOSREP. Aerial surveillance can also be provided by the MCA.

(c) SOSREP does not have an individual budget. Funding is provided by the Directorate of Operations at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in Southampton as necessary.

To date Robin Middleton has been involved in over 261 incidents issuing 29 directions, setting up 17 salvage control units and attending seven national exercises.

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