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4 Feb 2003 : Column 138Wcontinued
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the maximum number of trains is that can use the Channel Tunnel (a) every hour, (b) in a 24-hour period and (c) in a week. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 31 January 2003]: The traffic capacity through the Channel Tunnel is calculated as the number of trains running at a nominal 140 kph (the speed of Eurotunnel's Shuttles) that can pass through the Channel Tunnel per hour. On this basis, at present, the capacity of the Channel Tunnel is 20 standard train paths per hour in each direction.
The 20 standard train paths are available at all times, with the exception of a few hours on the three low demand nights at each weekend when part of the Channel Tunnel structure is closed for essential maintenance.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the maximum (a) width and (b) length of rolling stock that can use the Channel Tunnel is. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 31 January 2003]: The answer is as follows: (a) The maximum width is 4.168 metres; (b) the maximum length is 800 metres.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the maximum level of heat released by a train that can be handled by the Channel Tunnel air conditioning plant is. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 31 January 2003]: A Tourist Shuttle releases about 9 MW of heat, which is more than any other train using the Channel Tunnel system. About 15 per cent. to 20 per cent. of heat dissipates naturally, and the remainder is removed by a cooling system based on chilled water.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the maximum amount is of electric power available within the Channel Tunnel. 
Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 31 January 2003]: The Channel Tunnel traction electrical network is fed from four 75 MVA transformers on the French side, and four
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100 MVA transformers on the UK side. This supply arrangement allows the catenary to supply 1,200 A at 25kV.
Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) pursuant to his answer of 23 January, ref 91765, what response his Department has given to the proposals for a directive on seat belts for coach passengers; 
Mr. Jamieson: The Department supports the proposals for seat belt wearing in coaches. The new Directive, which updates the existing EU Directive 671/91, is presently being considered by the European Parliament as part of the co-decision process. If the Directive is adopted, it is expected to come into force later this year and that UK legislation will be implemented as soon as is practicable thereafter. No timetable has been set for that yet.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to (a) encourage cyclists and (b) improve the cycling infrastructure in the UK. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Government are committed to seeing an increase in cycling.
The National Cycling Strategy Board for England, chaired by Steve Norris, has been established to advise on how to increase cycling. It combines unrivalled expertise on transport engineering, marketing, local government and research. The Board has established an English Regions Cycling Development Team responsible for promoting and monitoring cycling to bring about an improvement in conditions for cycling. Their work includes an audit of local authority provision for cycling; assessment of local authority cycling strategies in Local Transport Plans; and monitoring Cycling Project Fund schemes.
We have just launched the second round of the Cycling Projects Fund. The Fund is open to any organisation, with the exception of local highway authorities, for projects that will increase cycling. More than £3 million has been made available in total. Any project that could be expected to lead to an increase in cycling, such as cycle parking, routes, cycle training or elements within a travel plan may be eligible.
Improved facilities for cyclists are largely funded through Local Transport Plan funds. Highway authorities are asked to develop a local cycling strategy as part of these plans. This must identify gaps in the local infrastructure and potential improvements to the cycling network.
Richard Ottaway: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress is being made in bringing the East London Line to Croydon. 
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Mr. Jamieson: The SRA is continuing to fund development of this project.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his estimate is of the total spending of his Department on entertainment in each year from 199495 to 200203; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: The costs of entertainment incurred were:
199596£24,000 (Department of Transport);
199697£31,000 (Department of Transport);
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what reports he has received in the last fortnight relating to the standard of maintenance and safety of London Underground track; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: Since the derailment at Chancery Lane on 25 January, London Underground has kept the Secretary of State informed of developments. We still await the outcome of inquiries by the independent Health and Safety Executive and London Underground.
Mr. Prosser: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria must be satisfied before foreign seafarers serving on UK-registered vessels trading in UK waters are covered by the national minimum wage. 
Mr. Jamieson: Foreign seafarers serving on UK-registered vessels trading in UK waters, qualify for the national minimum wage under Section 1(2) of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his answer of 27 November 2002, Official Report, column 269W, on no-fly zone (Scotland), (1) if emergency measures will be introduced to increase no-fly zones over the (a) Dounreay and Chapelcross facilities, (b) Faslane and Rosyth facilities and (c) petrochemical plants if the United Kingdom becomes involved in a war against Iraq; 
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(3) what plans he has to introduce an increased no-fly zone over (a) Dounreay and Chapelcross, (b) Faslane (c) Rosyth and (d) petrochemical facilities in Scotland. 
Mr. Jamieson: The original purpose of establishing no fly zones over nuclear sites was to secure the safety of aviation by ensuring that an aircraft suffering engine failure had sufficient height to land clear of the site. A no fly zone does not, on its own, make a significant contribution to the security of the site.
The overflying restrictions imposed on 3 November 2001 over a number of nuclear installations were part of a review of the measures designed to maintain safety and security.
In determining whether and where a no fly zone may be needed on security grounds, the Government would consider whether a specific threat had been made, the nature of such a threat, the most effective response to it, and the partif anywhich a no fly zone could play in that response.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the role is of the SRA Director of Media Relations in regard to the Rail Passengers Council. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority's Executive Director of Communications has no specific role in regard to the Rail Passengers Council. Liaison with the Council is the responsibility of the Authority's Executive Director of Corporate Affairs.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library copies of the correspondence between the Strategic Rail Authority and the Rail Passengers Council and the regional rail passenger committees about the potential for reductions in subsidy for rail franchises. 
Mr. Jamieson: This is a matter for the Strategic Rail Authority. I have asked the authority to contact the hon. Member directly about the information he seeks.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Rail Passengers Council is independent of the Strategic Rail Authority. 
Mr. Jamieson: Yes. The Secretary of State's directions and guidance to the Strategic Rail Authority requires the Rail Passengers Council and the Rail Passengers Committees to "remain clearly independent of the Authority".
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