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John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how much public expenditure has been spent in each financial year since 199798 on search and rescue activities, broken down by (a) civil aeronautical and (b) maritime activities; 
Mr. Jamieson: The Department for Transport has overall policy responsibility for both maritime and civil aeronautical search and rescue in the UK search and rescue region. The organisation of search and rescue is an amalgam of civil, military, maritime and aeronautical assets. The difficulty of separating these different aspects should be borne in mind when considering this answer.
The public expenditure for maritime search and rescue is given in the following table for the period since the Maritime and Coastguard Agency was established. The very substantial contributions to maritime search and rescue made by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution are not included.
|Actual public expenditure(5) on maritime search and rescue activities (nearest £ million)|
The Ministry of Defence provides declared search and rescue facilities to cover military operations, exercises and training with the UK Search and Rescue Region. Although these resources are established for military purposes, it is the Ministry's policy to render assistance whenever possible to other persons, aircraft or vessels in distress. In addition to the expenditure given above my Department reimburses the Ministry of Defence for the costs of using some of its military assets for civil aeronautical and maritime search and rescue. Since 199899 this has amounted to an average of £1.7 million each year.
The Department does not fully distinguish between public expenditure on civil aeronautical and maritime search and rescue. Additionally, the Ministry of Defence make further contributions to civil aeronautical and maritime search and rescue but the data is not held centrally, and to calculate it could only be done at disproportionate cost.
Charlotte Atkins: The Department was formed in May 2002. Since then, special advisers have not given any speeches in their official capacity. If speeches were to be made these would be conducted in accordance with the Code of Conduct for special advisers.
Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received on the increases in car park charges at rail stations run by South Eastern Trains; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: The Secretary of State and the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) have received correspondence about car park charges at stations run by South Eastern Trains. While certain key fares are regulated through the SRA's franchise agreements with train operators, car parking charges are not. The Government therefore have no locus in the matter.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much per commuter mile was paid by Thameslink to the Government in each of the last three years; what the total payments from Thameslink have been in each of the last three years; if he will change the contractual arrangements with Thameslink so that such contributions from commuters are not required; and if he will make a statement. 
Information on franchise payment/subsidy by year and per passenger kilometre for each train operating company is published in the Strategic
14 Dec 2004 : Column 1020W
Rail Authority's Annual Reports. Copies are placed in the Library of the House. There are no plans to change the contractual terms of Thameslink's franchise.
The Highways Agency has been working to achieve the earliest possible completion of the bearing replacement works to allow full re-opening of the viaduct. I am pleased to report that the final few bearings are now being put into place on the viaduct and, subject to final checks, the agency hope to re-open the northbound viaduct on 20 December.
Further resurfacing works will be required on the northbound carriageway and this work will be carried out before the viaduct is opened to traffic. If this work is delayed due to adverse weather conditions, it will be carried out at night to minimise inconvenience to motorists and will start immediately before Christmas and finish early in the new year.
Following the re-opening of the northbound viaduct, after the resurfacing works are complete, work will start on the southbound viaduct to replace the worn out road surfacing and expansion joints. This work will take place over the Christmas and new year period and will continue throughout January and into early February, and involve continuously running three narrow lanes. The speed restrictions of 40 mph will remain in place during this time. When this work is completed, during February 2005, the southbound viaduct can also be fully re-opened.
Local authorities are already required to place speed limit repeater signs on those roads where a local speed limit has been implemented by Order. Repeater signs are however strictly prohibited on street lit roads where a 30mph speed limit is in force (Restricted Roads) and unlit roads where the national speed limit is in force. This removes the need to sign every road in the country. This provision has been in place for many years and research shows the current arrangement is well understood
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Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what facilities are being made available to Sir Alan Budd to (a) see papers and (b) question individuals in connection with the inquiry into the conduct of the Home Secretary; and under what statutory authority these facilities will be made available; 
Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 6 December 2004]: No statutory authority is necessary for this investigation. Home Office officials are providing the material that Sir Alan Budd requests and answering the questions that he may ask. The Home Office has provided the secretarial support that Sir Alan Budd requested.
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