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12 Jan 2004 : Column 552Wcontinued
|County||Miles of dual carriageway per thousand square miles|
|Hereford and Worcester||67|
|Isle of Wight||10|
|Tyne and Wear||321|
12 Jan 2004 : Column 553W
Mr. McNulty: The SRA is considering how best to prioritise a programme of works to meet the accessibility requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act at stations and will be consulting on draft criteria later this year.
Mr. McNulty: Last year the Strategic Rail Authority consulted the rail industry, local authorities, passenger representatives and other stakeholders on the future pattern of service on the West Coast Main Line, including through Northampton. In June their 'West Coast Main Line Strategy' was published, indicating the likely level of service from September 2004 and beyond. The timetable for September 2004 has not yet been finalised, but it should be agreed at least 12 weeks prior to implementation, and made available to the public at least four weeks prior to the timetable change date. A further consultation on the emerging timetable will take place with key stakeholders, including rail user groups and Rail Passengers Committees, before it is finalised.
Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent on (a) maintenance and (b) upgrade of the West Coast Main Line in each year since 1997; and what the purpose of the expenditure was in each case. 
Upgrade programme expenditure relates to a range of activities intended to renew existing life-expired assets, and delivery of the associated enhancement works needed to increase line speeds and route capacity.
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Mr. Alexander: The Strategy and Delivery Units work across a range of areas in support of Ministers and Departments. In line with exemption 2 set out in Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, internal discussion and advice remains confidential.
21. Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what action he is taking to ensure that workers who have lost their pensions through no fault of their own and are not covered by the pension protection fund are adequately compensated. 
Maria Eagle: There are no current plans for research into the levels of take-up of disability benefits because entitlement to disability living allowance (DLA) and attendance allowance (AA) can be established reliably only after a claim has been made and the care and mobility needs of the customer assessed. There are no data available about who might be entitled to either DLA or AA if they were to make a claim, which means
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Although no formal cost benefit analysis has been carried out, available information indicates that it costs around £750 per year to help each person through progress2work. This certainly represents good value for money compared to the £37,500 it would cost to keep the same person in prison.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to promote the use of positive action within the public sector to combat age discrimination. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Department for Work and Pensions is combating age discrimination in the workplace through our Age Positive campaign. Age Positive is vigorously promoting the business benefits of an age diverse workforce by encouraging employers in both the public and private sector to adopt the voluntary Code of Practice: Age Diversity at Work, A Practical Guide For Business.
Age Positive targets the public sector through advertising, internet, specialist pressand exhibits at public sector events such as the annual conference of the Society of Personnel Officers in Government Services.
The Department for Work and Pensions was one of the first Departments to give people the choice of when they retire between the ages of 60 and 65. Many Departments have now given employees the choice and over 75 per cent. of civil service staff (outside the Senior Civil Service) now have the opportunity to stay on until they are 65. We have, in fact, responded to inquiries from staff seeking to work beyond 65 and introduced arrangements to allow them to do so.
Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what initiatives his Department is taking to provide access to employment for asylum seekers who have been granted leave to remain. 
Mr. Browne: We know that the level of unemployment among refugees is unacceptably high. We are taking positive action to reduce this such as: working more closely with the Home Office; engaging with community and voluntary groups; improving provision of English language and other training, and helping individuals to promote their skills to employers.
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