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8 Dec 2004 : Column 520W—continued


Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what impact the designation of the Grantham to Skegness branch line as a Community Rail Line pilot will have on (a) maintenance funding, (b) service improvement, (c) freight traffic and (d) improving facilities at stations along the line. [202908]

Mr. McNulty: The Grantham to Skegness line is proposed as a pilot scheme under the Government's Community Rail Development Strategy. The objectives of the strategy are to provide a strategic framework for local and rural lines within which they can develop and be put on a sustainable basis for the medium to long term through increasing ridership, freight use and net revenue, managing costs down and greater involvement from the local community. The purpose of the pilot projects is to test the deliverability of these objectives. The scope of each pilot will be determined as the remit for each is developed with the relevant local authorities, Rail Passengers Committee, rail operators and other funding partners.

Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what provisions are available to support existing community rail line projects should they fail to secure adequate funding through businesses, charities and Government agencies. [201981]

Mr. McNulty: Support for services on lines proposed for designation as Community Railways is provided through the franchise agreement with the relevant train operator. It is always open to stakeholders along a rail corridor to provide additional support for the further development of the local rail service, such as more services or enhancement projects. One of the aims of the Community Rail Development Strategy is to provide a structure for making use of such resources.

Road Safety

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people have been (a) killed and (b) injured in accidents on the roads where alcohol was a contributory factor in each of the last five years; in what percentage of road traffic accidents alcohol was a contributory factor, in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [202904]

Mr. Jamieson: Estimates of the number of casualties in accidents where at least one driver was over the legal drink drive limit are shown in the following table.
Estimates of casualties in accidents involving illegal alcohol levels: GB 1999–2003(2)

Drink drive accidents
Number killedNumber injured(3)Drink/drive accidentsAll accidentsDrink/drive as percentage of all accidents

(2) Provisional data.
(3) Includes serious and slight casualties.

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Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost was to each police authority of policing accidents in which alcohol was a contributory factor in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [202905]

Mr. Jamieson: The information requested is not available.

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what evidence he has assessed that shows that drivers who use speed assessment equipment detection devices have a worse accident record than those who do not; [202164]

(2) what evidence he has assessed which shows that the provisions of Clause 17 of the Road Safety Bill will enhance road safety. [202165]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 6 December 2004]: Clause 17 gives the Secretary of State the power to prohibit the fitting of, or the use of vehicles carrying, speed assessment equipment detection devices. It defines such devices as a device one or more of whose purposes is to interfere with or detect the operation of equipment used to assess the speed of motor vehicles. The precise subset of the devices which will be prohibited will be identified in regulations.

The Government do not intend to prohibit the use of equipment which usefully gives drivers information on the location of published camera sites and does not detect or interfere with the operation of speed assessment equipment. Thus complementing the measures we took in 2001 to ensure that camera sites are visible and conspicuous to drivers, and so help deter excessive and inappropriate speeds on the roads.

The sole purpose of detection devices to be covered by the proposed law is to tell drivers when they can break speed limits and get away with it. This is unacceptable, prevents the police from carrying out their duties, and is a danger to other law-abiding drivers and road users.

There is overwhelming evidence from both UK and international literature that speeding results in more collisions and more severe casualties. As regards safety cameras, the evidence from the independent review of the safety camera programme by University College London and PA Consulting found that cameras significantly reduced the number of people killed or seriously injured at camera sites. This evidence demonstrates why the provisions of Clause 17 of the Bill would enhance road safety.

Rural Bus Services

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much funding will be provided for rural bus services in each of the next three years; and if he will make a statement. [200294]

Charlotte Atkins: Allocations from this Department to local authorities of Rural Bus Subsidy Grant (RBSG) will total £53 million in 2005–06. We have recently written to local authorities advising them of their individual allocations.

The provisional RBSG totals for 2006–07 and 2007–08 are £54.3 million and £55.6 million respectively.
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In addition, expenditure on existing Rural Bus Challenge projects is estimated to total £38 million over the next three years.

Local authorities also support rural bus services using funds from their Revenue Support Grant.

Stations (Crime)

John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many crimes have been committed at stations that meet secure station status in each year since the scheme's inception. [202766]

Mr. McNulty: The British Transport Police have provided the following information on crimes recorded at stations in the secure stations scheme, for any given year in the period 2000–04 when a station held accreditation. Data is not readily available for earlier than 2000.
Crimes recorded at secure stationsNumber of secure stations
1 April 2004–31 October 200417,908168

In reading the above data, the following factors should be considered:
(i) These figures contain all crimes—this includes both notifiable and non-notifiable crimes. The latter includes byelaw offences, minor disorder etc.
(ii) The statistics represent full year data not data from the time of accreditation.
(iii) The data refers to crimes discovered and reported at the Station (i.e. not actually occurred at the station but in the surrounding area) as well as crimes committed on the station.
(iv) The new crime recording standards were implemented in 2002–03 and will have an adverse impact on crime statistics from that period.
(v) The period of accreditation lasts for two years. A number of listed stations have not applied for re-accreditation and therefore do not now fall under the secure station scheme.


John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the refurbishment projects in his Department's premises that (a) are in progress and (b) will be starting in the next six months; what action is being taken to ensure that these will procure timber from legal and sustainable sources; and whether guidance will be issued to contractors on each of these projects to ensure that the timber used on site during refurbishment also comes from legal and sustainable sources. [201175]

Charlotte Atkins: In the central Department there is only one significant refurbishment project currently under way, or due to begin in the next six months, involving timber products and this is the replacement of furniture, stud partitioning and doors in Great Minster House. For the partitioning and furniture we will be using the call-off contracts managed by OGC which take account of Government polices on sustainable and legal timber. The doors will be modified and re-used.
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More generally in the Department purchasers are reminded regularly of the requirement to purchase legal and sustainable timber and are provided with advice to assist them in purchasing sustainable timber, including the Office of Government Commerce Information Notes 9/2002 and 5/2004.

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