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6 Mar 2003 : Column 1146W—continued

Airports Review

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how he estimates the Internal Rate of Return and Net Benefit assessed for Packages 20 and 21 in Annex D of the February 2003 South East and East of England Regional Air Services (SERAS) document would be affected by a requirement that a developer should bear (a) 15 per cent. (b) 25 per cent. and (c) 30 per cent. of the surface access cost associated with those packages as assessed at SERAS Stages 2 and 3. [100860]

Mr. Jamieson: The capital costs of the options at Gatwick and Cliffe used for the economic and financial appraisals of SERAS packages 20 and 21 included 100 per cent. of the costs of the surface access schemes associated with the airport development. The surface access schemes and costs for the two and four runway options at Cliffe are specified in Table 11.3 of the SERAS Stage 2 report and for the two single runway options at Gatwick in Table 2.2 of the SERAS Stage 3 report.

Congestion Charging

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will be able to provide an assessment of the changes to passenger mileage travelled by (a) bus, (b) coach, (c) train and (d) private car in the counties surrounding London consequent on the introduction of congestion charging. [100746]

Mr. Jamieson: Transport for London will be assessing the effect of congestion charging on transport patterns within the London area, and intend to publish a comprehensive report early next year.

Finsbury Park Station

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the total cost of investment is in the refurbishment of Finsbury Park Station by (a) the Department and (b) other sources; and if he will make a statement on progress of the scheme. [100270]

Mr. Jamieson: I understand that London Underground Limited are currently reviewing options for refurbishing Finsbury Park station, in conjunction with Transport for London, the London Borough of Islington and Network Rail.

London Underground

Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he next plans to meet the Strategic Rail Authority to discuss the SRA Plan 2003, with particular reference to the proposals for the extension of London Underground's East London Line. [100896]

Mr. Jamieson: Ministers regularly meet the Chairman of the SRA to discuss a variety of matters. The business case for the East London Line Extension is currently being considered. I hope an announcement will be made shortly.

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Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from the London Underground PPP, Consortia, and their component companies, for new legislation to restrain the Mayor of London and Transport for London in their operations; how he has responded; and if he will make a statement. [100997]

Mr. Jamieson: The Secretary of State is not proposing to legislate to constrain the Mayor or Transport for London in their operations, and has not received any representations that he should. The Government have proposed legislation, in the Railways and Transport Safety Bill currently before the House, to ensure that when London Underground is transferred to Transport for London, its contracts can continue to operate as intended.

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the starting date is for full operation of the contract with Tube Lines and each of the two contracts with Metronet as part of the London Underground PPP; and if he will make a statement. [100998]

Mr. Jamieson: The contract with Tube Lines was completed on 31 December 2002. The Government expects the contracts with Metronet to be completed this spring.

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the benchmarks relating to average performance on the London Underground are; how they were arrived at; if he will make a statement on their significance; at what level in relation to those benchmarks the infrastructure companies in the London Underground PPP can operate without incurring a penalty; and if he will make a statement; [101003]

Mr. Jamieson : I refer my hon. Friend to my answer to the hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington (Tom Brake) on 19 December 2001, Official Report, columns 508–09W.

The payment of refunds to passengers under London Underground's Customer Charter is not a matter for the infrastructure companies and is therefore not covered by the PPP contracts.

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to alter the period of the contract with the London Underground PPP Infrastructure Consortia; and if he will make a statement. [101749]

Mr. Jamieson: My right hon. Friend has no such plans.

Montreal Convention

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the United Kingdom will ratify the Montreal Convention.[R] [101151]

6 Mar 2003 : Column 1148W

Mr. Jamieson: The United Kingdom will ratify the Montreal Convention when all 15 member states of the EU are in a position to do so simultaneously. Although the UK stands ready to deposit its instrument of ratification, a number of member states are not.

Railways

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason public funds are being used to pay for the rectification of the shortage of power on the rail network in southern England; why the power supply problems were not realised at the time the order for new trains was placed; when the power supply upgrade will be completed; what effect he estimates this will have on the Government's target for increasing passenger traffic in the coming decade; and if he will make a statement. [100301]

Mr. Jamieson: The power supply upgrade is necessary to allow new trains to be introduced which will replace Mark 1 rolling stock, as required by the Railway Safety Regulations 1999. The Strategic Rail Authority is working with Network Rail on an approach to funding the upgrade that does not require the investment of public funds. The belated appreciation of the need for the upgrade reflected a failure of communication within the industry. The first phase of the power supply upgrade began in 2002 and is forecast to continue through to 2005. The upgrade is not in itself expected to affect the volume of passenger traffic on the network.

Road Improvements

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance he gives to the Highways Agency on assessing road improvement schemes associated with accident black spots. [103393]

Mr. Jamieson: The Highways Agency are responsible for monitoring and analysing accidents on the Trunk Road network, and taking appropriate action. "Tomorrow's Roads—Safer for Everyone" gives guidance on the Governments safety strategy and sets casualty reduction targets for 2010, including those that are to be achieved by the Highways Agency.

A number of techniques are used to analyse and assess prospective improvements, but it is for the Highways Agency to decide which are used to determine the types of road safety schemes and priorities.

South West Trains

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many new trains are on order to South West Trains; how many of the new trains are expected to enter service on schedule; and if he will make a statement. [100299]

Mr. Jamieson: South West Trains have 785 new vehicles on order. The first new trains are expected to enter service in spring 2003 subject to completion of all necessary testing. Thereafter new trains will enter service on a regular basis through to the end of 2004 subject to power supply availability.

6 Mar 2003 : Column 1149W

EDUCATION AND SKILLS

Correspondence

Mr. Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when he will reply to the letter of 28 November 2002 from the hon. Member for Manchester, Central on the collection and recording of information on pupils' ethnic background. [100288]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: My hon. Friend the Minister of State for School Standards replied to my hon. Friend's letter of 28 November 2002 on 28 February.

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Career Development Loans

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people obtained career development loans in Redcar and Cleveland in each of the last five years, broken down by (a) age and (b) course studied. [101223]

Margaret Hodge: The following tables show the number of people in the Redcar and Cleveland area who have been awarded a Career Development Loan (CDL), for every year since 1998. The tables break down the awards into age groups, and show the type of learning that the CDL was intended to help fund. Information is not collected on the actual course studied.

Number of CDLs by course type—1998

Age range
Under 2020–2930–3940–49Over 49Total
Commercial and Professional2114
Computer Skills12216
Management112
Driving Occupations251210
Post Graduate (other)11
Sport Leisure and Tourism11
Total18103224

Number of CDLs by course type—1999

Age range
Under 2020–2930–3940–49Over 49Total
Commercial and Professional516
Computer Skills358
Driving Occupations11114
Art and Drama11
Environment Studies11
Service/Selling occupations11
Science and technology22
Other22
Total12101225

Number of CDLs by course type—2000

Age range
Under 2020–2930–3940–49Over 49Total
Commercial and Professional11
Computer Skills13133130
Health, Training, Welfare22
Management112
Driving Occupations224
Art and Drama123
Environment Studies11
Flying Occupations11
Science and technology11
Other617
Total230136152

Number of CDLs by course type—2001

Age range
Under 2020–2930–3940–49Over 49Total
Commercial and Professional213
Computer Skills167427
Health, Training, Welfare314
Management11
Driving Occupations134
Environment Studies11
Sport/Leisure/Tourism11
General Career Counselling11
Total2113842


6 Mar 2003 : Column 1151W

Number of CDLs by course type—2002

Age range
Under 2020–2930–3940–49Over 49Total
Computer Skills18104225
Health, Training, Welfare2114
Management11
Driving Occupations123
Art and Drama22
Environment Studies11
Engineering11
Other1124
Total115148341

Note:

These tables cover postcodes starting TS5, TS6 and TS10–14 inclusive, as confirmed with the borough of Redcar and Cleveland.


Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what action is taken to publicise the availability of career development loans. [101224]

Margaret Hodge: Since they were launched in 1988 Career Development Loans (CDLs) have helped over 180,000 people fund vocational learning to improve their career prospects. CDLs are publicised via the CDL website on the Department's website, by learning providers, and participating banks. Information is also available via learndirect, Learning and Skills Councils, Information Advice and Guidance partnerships and various publications such as the leaflet "money to learn", the BBC's Career Essentials booklet and CDL advertising posters sent to learning providers and Jobcentres. The most recent national press publicity campaign was carried out in 1998. As CDLs are being considered as part of the review of funding of adult learning, there are no plans to further publicise the programme at present.

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people in the borough of Redcar and Cleveland (a) applied for and (b) obtained career development loans in each of the last five years; and what the rate of default is on repayment in each of the last three years. [101225]

Margaret Hodge: The exact number of Career Development Loan (CDL) applications by people in the borough of Redcar and Cleveland is not known. The rate of successful applications varies between the banks, but the overall success rate is around 75 per cent. of applications received. The number of successful applications in each year since 1998 is as follows:

Number
199824
199925
200052
200142
200241

Note:

This table covers postcodes starting TS5, TS6 and TS10–14 inclusive, as confirmed with the borough of Redcar and Cleveland

The net default rate on CDLs taken out in the borough of Redcar and Cleveland is:

2000—4.0 per cent

2001—6.23 per cent.

2002—no loans have defaulted to date

The national underlying net default rate for CDLs since the programme began is 10.13 per cent. This compares to the 15 per cent. maximum operating default limit agreed with the banks to cover the higher level of risk they take in making these particular loans.


6 Mar 2003 : Column 1152W

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance the Department gives for (a) rates of repayment and (b) income levels for the commencement of the repayment of career development loans. [101226]

Margaret Hodge: Career Development Loans (CDLs) are commercial bank loans and the rates of repayment are decided by the participating banks. The banks have an agreement with the Department that the interest rate they charge will normally be no greater than the interest rate applicable to their normal personal loans, at the time that the CDL was granted.

CDLs are not income-contingent therefore the Department does not give any guidance to the participating banks on income levels for starting repayment. However, an individual may be able to postpone the start of their repayments for up to 17 months if, when they are due to start repaying they are:



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