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Maritime and Coastguard Agency

John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the implications of amalgamation and rationalisation of (a) services, (b) management, (c) premises, (d) depots and (e) fleet provided by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and other bodies responsible for maritime safety in UK territorial waters. [141746]

Mr. Jamieson: No specific assessment has been made nor is it considered necessary. The UK land, sea and air Strategic Committee, through its Operators' Group, keeps opportunities for amalgamation and rationalisation of resources for the promotion of maritime safety under review.

The Strategic Committee, which reports directly to Ministers, and the Operators' Group are chaired by my Department and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency respectively. They include representatives from all the UK emergency services, Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Ministry of Defence, Home Office, Mountain and Cave Rescue Teams.

John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many Coastguard calls relating to (a) commercial shipping, (b) leisure craft, (c) fishing

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vessels and (d) passenger ferries there were in each of the last five years; and what the cost was in each case. [141821]

Mr. Jamieson: HM Coastguard receives calls relating to commercial shipping, leisure craft, fishing vessels and passenger ferries either directly from the vessel via radio or satellite communication, or from interested parties ashore via telephone. A record is not kept of the number of individual calls received and as the receiver of such calls there is no cost to HM Coastguard.

Powershift Initiative

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many individuals he expects to apply for grants under the Powershift initiative for the (a) conversion of vehicles and (b) for the purchase of low emission vehicles in (i) the current financial year and (ii) each of the next three financial years; [141491]

Mr. Jamieson: "Powering Future Vehicles—The Government Strategy", published in July 2002, describes the action which the Government are taking to promote the shift to clean, low carbon fuels and vehicles, including low duty rates for liquefied petroleum gas, natural gas, hydrogen and biofuels, the introduction of CO2-based graduated VED (Vehicle Excise Duty) and company car tax, and grants towards the purchase or conversion of cleaner fuelled vehicles, including electric and hybrid vehicles. The First Annual Report on implementation of the Strategy was published in October. Copies of both documents have been placed in the House Library. In this financial year the Energy Saving Trust estimate that they will provide grants for around 4000 vehicles under the PowerShift programme, compared to some 2000 vehicles last year. My Department is currently discussing with the Trust how they can support the Government's environmental objectives in future years. Estimates are not yet available for the number of PowerShift grants in future years. In the current financial year, take-up of PowerShift grants has been strong, and the year's resources have been fully allocated. However, if existing offers are not fully taken up, the resources will be allocated to organisations or individuals whose grant applications have been placed on the PowerShift waiting list. The financial outturn for PowerShift are detailed in the following table.

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Financial yearOutturn (£ million)
1997–981.684.
1998–992.254
1999–20003.837
2000–018.147
2001–029.201
2002–035.201
2003–04(1)9.125

(1) Forecast outturn to end March 2004


The Energy Saving Trust is currently carrying out a detailed review of CO2 and NOx savings resulting from the PowerShift programme since its inception in 1997. This will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Railcards

Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the outcome of discussions between the train operating industry and the Strategic Rail Authority to develop a national discount railcard. [141309]

Mr. McNulty: Following the Strategic Rail Authority's (SRA) Fares Review, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport asked the SRA to explore options for the introduction of a well-targeted National Railcard. The SRA is in discussion with the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) about the best way of taking this forward.

Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will make a statement on the effect on sales of Network Railcards of limiting their application to journeys costing more than £10 in the South East; [141329]

Mr. McNulty: The South East Network card is a commercial "product" and as such is not subject to Government regulation. It's conditions of issue and use are matters for the train operating companies. Information on its use is not held centrally.

Railways (Toilets)

Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to oblige franchised train operators to provide toilet facilities (a) on trains and (b) in stations. [141526]

Mr. McNulty: There are no plans to oblige franchised train operators to provide toilet facilities on trains or in stations.

Train operators provide toilet and other facilities where they consider it appropriate, bearing in mind their obligation to achieve improved levels of customer satisfaction.

Shipping Safety

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times foreign ships have been detained for falling short of safety standards following inspection in British ports in each year since 2000–01;

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what (a) prosecutions and (b) penalties have resulted; what the current annual budget is for the inspection and enforcement of international, European and national safety standards; and if he will make a statement. [141360]

Mr. Jamieson: The number of foreign flag ships detained in UK ports as a result of Port State Control inspections in each year since 2000–01 is as follows:

Number of Detentions
2000112
2001114
2002116
2003 to date91
Total433

None of these detentions have needed to be followed by a formal prosecution.

In the current financial year the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's budget for ship inspections and related activity including enforcement is £25,769,000.

South Central Trains

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the new level of subsidy to South Central Trains each year is for the revised length of the franchise. [140483]

Dr. Howells: The subsidy per year is as follows:

Financial yearSubsidy (£ million)
2003–0479.5
2004–05104.5
2005–06110
2006–07104.5
2007–0898.5
2008–0990
2009–1084

NORTHERN IRELAND

Peace Process

7. Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the results of the Assembly elections. [141220]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave earlier to my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield Hillsborough (Helen Jackson).

8. Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the progress towards the restoration of self-government in the Province. [141222]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I refer my hon. Member to the answer I gave earlier to my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield Hillsborough (Helen Jackson).

12. Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the peace process. [141226]

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Mr. Paul Murphy: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave earlier to my hon. Friend the member for Sheffield Hillsborough (Helen Jackson).

13. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the resumption of power-sharing in Northern Ireland. [141227]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave earlier to my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Helen Jackson).


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