11 Mar 2003 : Column 119W

Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 11 March 2003

TRANSPORT

Motoring Costs

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the estimates that he has made of the external costs associated with private motoring, with particular reference to the environmental costs. [102477]

Mr. Jamieson : A study commissioned by my Department from the Institute for Transport Studies* at the University of Leeds made the following estimates of the marginal external social costs of car use per vehicle kilometre in Great Britain:


Accident Statistics

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) accidents and (b) fatalities were recorded on the A259 between (i) Hastings and Bexhill and (ii) Bexhill and Pevensey, with particular reference to King Offa Way, Bexhill, in each year since 1997. [101392]

Mr. Jamieson: I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Mr. Tim Matthews, to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Tim. Matthews to Gregory Barker, dated 11 March 2003:



Injury accidents

19971998199920002001Total
A259 between Hastings and Bexhill (B2092 to B2182 Cooden Sea Road)
Fatal201014
Serious3513315
Slight1421211145112
Total1926231449131
A259 between Bexhill and Pevensey (B2182 Cooden Sea Road to junction with A27) (including figures for King Offa Way)
Fatal0001J2
Serious1451213
Slight89671646
Total9131191961
A259 King Offa Way (from the De La Warr Road to London Road)
Fatal000000
Serious000101
Slight0896831
Total0897832

Note:

Figures for 2002 are not yet available.


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Central Railway

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the status of the Central Railway project. [101870]

Mr. Jamieson: We are considering carefully Central Railway's proposals and will respond to Central Railway in due course.

Travel Passes

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what publicity is (a) being given and (b) planned to the change in eligibility for the travel pass for elderly people from 1 April (i) in London and (ii) elsewhere; and if he will make a statement. [101750]

Mr. Jamieson: The DTLR Press Release 2002/0069 of 27 February 2002 gave details of the contents of the Travel Concessions (Eligibility) Act 2002 directly it received Royal Assent. The DfT will issue a further Press Release within the next two weeks to again publicise that from 1 April 2003 men will become eligible for travel concessions at the same age as women.

Responsibility for local publicity to inform the public about the change in eligibility for the travel pass for elderly people lies with the local authorities or Passenger Transport Executives. The Local Government Association has alerted its members to the change and reminded them that they may wish to advertise appropriate local advance application arrangements.

Ministerial Trips

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the overseas trips made by himself and other members of his ministerial team in 2002; and what the (a) purpose and (b) cost was in each case. [101475]

Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Cabinet Office on 22 January 2003, Official Report, column 334W, in response to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws)

Motorways

Mr. David Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the (a) benefits and (b) costs of privatising English motorways; and if he will make a statement. [101517]

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Mr. Jamieson: No detailed assessment of the costs and benefits of privatising England's motorways has been made.

In 1999 the Next Steps Review of the Highways Agency looked briefly at the possibility of privatisation as part of the 'prior options review' that re-examined the case for Agency status. These reviews are routine. The report (published in July 1999) concluded that privatisation could only be an option for the future when a number of issues had been resolved including the identification of a secure revenue stream.

Railways

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many stations have achieved safer station status; and how many will achieve safer station status in each of the next three years. [102168]

Mr. Jamieson: There are currently 170 stations accredited under the Secure Stations Scheme. The Scheme is voluntary and the Department has not set any targets for the number of stations to be accredited under the Scheme. It is up to the Train Operating Companies to decide which of their stations to put through the Scheme's accreditation process.

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what Strategic Rail Authority resources are available for station improvements, including safety improvements, in each of the next five years. [102169]

Mr. Jamieson: The Authority's Strategic Plan, a copy of which is in the House Library, explains their current investment priorities in detail.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the adequacy of data collection concerning perceptions of passenger safety on the railways. [102227]

Mr. Jamieson: The Strategic Rail Authority's twice yearly "National Passenger Survey" includes questions on passengers' perceptions of safety. The survey is carried out to an approved methodology in accordance with Market Research Society codes of conduct.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research he has conducted into the extent to which environmental factors, with particular reference to (a) litter on tracks and (b) graffiti in stations, influence perceptions of safety and customer satisfaction among users of the railways. [102229]

Mr. Jamieson : The National Passenger Survey measures for each train operating company the most important areas of concern for passengers. Details of the results of the surveys are contained in the Strategic Rail Authority's publication, "On Track", copies of which are in the Libraries of the House.

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who would conduct (a) an inquiry into a rail accident and (b) a criminal investigation into a criminal act on the (i) Folkestone, Dymchurch and Hythe Railway, (ii) Bluebell Railway, (iii) Didcot Railway, (iv) Heritage Railway and (v) Rail Mail under the provisions of the Railways and Transport Safety Bill. [102393]

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Mr. Jamieson: The provisions of the Railways and Transport Safety Bill will create an independent Rail Accident Investigation Branch that will investigate serious railway accidents and which may investigate a non-serious railway accident or railway incident on (i)-(v) above.

An investigation into a general criminal act on (i)-(iv) above would normally be undertaken by the Home Office police, rather than the BTP. An investigation in to a general criminal act on (v) would normally be undertaken by the BTP if it took place on the national rail network.

Health and safety related criminal acts would be investigated by the Health and Safety Executive in respect of (i)-(v).

Road Improvements

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list road improvement schemes managed by the Highways Agency in (a) the Kent, East Sussex and West Sussex area and (b) England in each year since 1997, together with the cost of each scheme; and which schemes are awaiting action. [101395]

Mr. Jamieson: There are many small improvement schemes carried out each year and it is not possible to list them all here. A table listing the major road improvement schemes completed by the Highways Agency since 1997, as well as those schemes being progressed as part of the Targeted Programme of Improvements (TPI) in (a) the Kent, East Sussex and West Sussex area and (b) England, together with the cost of each scheme has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much funding was allocated to the Highways Agency for road improvement schemes in (a) the Kent, East Sussex and West Sussex area and (b) England in each year since 1997. [101394]

Mr. Jamieson: Funding for road improvement schemes is not allocated on a county by county basis. The total funding allocated for road improvement schemes in England in each year since 1997 is listed in the following table:

Year£ million
1997–98901
1998–997 14
1999–2000663
2000–01677
2001–02837
2002–03939


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