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16 Jan 2003 : Column 698Wcontinued
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he last met members of the Strategic Rail Authority to discuss the provision of cycle storage on trains; what the outcome was of these discussions; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Secretary of State for Transport, and other Departmental Ministers, meet the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) on a regular basis and discuss a range of issues.
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The SRA is continuing to encourage the provision of secure storage for bicycles at railway stations and for their carriage on trains where this is feasible. The SRA encourages all train operators to tailor their bicycle provision to the demand and latent demand on each route.
Mr. Jamieson: Total public and private spending for London over the period of the 10 Year Plan are set out in the Finance Annex to XDelivering Better Transport: Progress Report" which was published on 17 December 2002 and placed in the Libraries of the House.
In addition, Transport for London and the London Underground will have fares income available to them, and the Mayor will also have the revenues from his congestion charging scheme to spend on transport.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many possible combinations of letters in the pattern of current vehicle registration numbers exist; and of those, how many are available for allocation in any six month period. 
Mr. Jamieson: There are 7,312,896 possible combinations in the current registration number system. From this total, combinations are withheld if they are likely to cause offence or are reserved for sale and in each six-month period the number available for allocation fluctuates. In the periods September 2001 to February 2002 and March 2002 to August 2002 there were 5,072,976 and 5,082,391 combinations available for allocation respectively.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate his Department has made of the comparative effectiveness in their air defence roles of (a) fixed-wing carrier-borne aircraft, (b) modernised Type 42 destroyers and (c) future Type 45 destroyers. 
Mr. Ingram: United Kingdom maritime forces normally operate as part of a Task Group, which protects itself against air attack through a series of 'layered' defences. Task Groups typically include carrier and/or land based fixed wing aircraft as an outer layer.
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Inside and complementary to this, the Type 42 Anti-Air Warfare Destroyers (and also Type 22 and 23 Frigates) are equipped to provide an air defence capability for both Force and self protection. The Type 42 Destroyers systems are being enhanced to ensure they remain effective in the air defence role.
The Type 42 Destroyers will be replaced by the Type 45 Destroyers, fitted with the highly capable Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS). PAAMS will represent a significant improvement in Air Defence capability compared with that provided by the current Type 42 Destroyer fitted with Seadart. Key improvements will include better surveillance, increased channels of fire, a larger magazine capacity and a faster, more manoeuvrable missiles.
The comparative effectiveness of these complementing layers has been successfully demonstrated in many recent National, NATO and Allied exercises and proven in the Gulf and Adriatic conflicts to adequately protect a Task Group.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will introduce a policy whereby defence contracts awarded to foreign companies require 50 per cent.of the work to be carried out in the United Kingdom. 
Dr. Moonie: The costs of house moves for the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) staff relocating from Farnborough to Portsdown Main, together with the additional travelling costs for staff choosing not to move house, are estimated to be #13.3 million.
The estimated capital value of the contract to refurbish the Portsdown Main site is commercially sensitive and is withheld in accordance with Exemption 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if an environmental sustainability assessment was made of factors that may result from the relocation of Dstl staff in Farnborough to Portsdown Main, with particular reference to changes in the level of commuter traffic; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Moonie: A Strategic Environmental Appraisal (environmental sustainability assessment) was prepared in accordance with MOD Policy for each of the site relocation options considered by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
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It is recognised that the rationalisation of Dstl sites will result in a change in travel patterns, the overall effect of which is likely to be beneficial, in that it will contribute to reducing the need for travel between geographically dispersed sites. Dstl also recognises, however, that at Portsdown Main there will be local issues concerning the increased level of commuter traffic entering and leaving the area. Dstl are consulting with the local planning authorities and are commissioning consultants to identify any significant environmental constraints and to prepare a Preliminary Environmental Report. As part of this commission a detailed transport assessment will be completed, which will highlight areas where improvement and mitigation might be beneficial. Dstl are committed to establishing a travel plan for Portsdown Main with the aim of reducing dependency on the private car and promoting the use of other modes of transport. The prime contractor appointed to complete the refurbishment and re-population of Portsdown Main will be required to take full account of these findings during design, construction and subsequent operation of the site.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library a copy of the financial appraisal and independent review by the MoD Senior Economic Advisor of the decision to move Dstl staff from Farnborough to Portsdown Main. 
Dr. Moonie: The appraisal referred to contains information that is commercially sensitive, it is withheld in accordance with Exemption 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is currently requesting bids from contractors for the refurbishment of the Portsdown Main site and information contained in the appraisal may weaken Dstl negotiating position.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the loss to Dstl of experienced staff who are unable or unwilling to relocate from Farnborough to Portsdown Main. 
Dr. Moonie: The move of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) staff from Farnborough to a new site at Portsdown is planned for 2006. At this comparatively early stage it is difficult to predict whether or not Dstl will lose staff and if so in what numbers. We hope that all staff currently employed by Dstl at the Farnborough site will choose to stay with the Laboratory and move to the new site.
In October 2002, after the relocation decision had been announced to staff, Dstl commissioned MORI to carry out an independent Staff Opinion Survey. The response of staff, particularly at Farnborough, was very positive and had improved in key areas over the previous survey in 2001. There are no indications at this time that Dstl will lose significant numbers of staff because of its relocation plans.
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his Department, would be transferred to the employ of DynCorp should the company's bid prove successful; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Landmarc Support Services (LSS) have been selected by the Ministry of Defence as the preferred bidder to act as the strategic partner in the management and running of the Army Training Estate. LSS is a special purpose company owned by Interserve Defence Ltd and DynCorp International.
Approximately 1,450 Civil and Crown Servants from the Army Training Estate, Defence Estates and Reserve Forces and Cadets Association would transfer, with their jobs, to LSS between April and August 2003, should a contract be placed. These staff will have their employment rights protected by both Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 and MOD's codes of practice.
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