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20 Dec 2004 : Column 1356W—continued

Metro Line 3

Ross Cranston: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the impact on the start date for Metro Line 3 of the Jacobs Inquiry into the Metro extension in Birmingham; and if he will make a statement. [205996]

Charlotte Atkins: I understand that the study is still under way; when it is complete it will be for Birmingham city council to consider the way forward in discussion with the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive, Centro.

Rail (Bicycles)

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions (a) he and (b) the Strategic Rail Authority has had with train companies about their policies regarding the carrying of bicycles on trains; and if he will make a statement. [206053]

Mr. McNulty: There have been no discussions between Ministers and train operating companies about their cycling policies. The Strategic Rail Authority consulted widely with industry stakeholders, including the Association of Train Operating Companies, and the public about its Cycling Policy, published on 11 November 2004. Copies of the Cycling Policy are in the Library of the House.
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Strategic Rail Authority

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by what mechanisms Strategic Rail Authority staff's pay and conditions will be protected if they transfer to its replacement organisation in his Department. [206238]

Mr. McNulty: The Government's policy as set out in the Cabinet Office Statement of Practice on Public Sector Transfers commits it to apply TUPE principles to these transfers even where TUPE may not apply as a matter of law.

The Railways Bill will make provision for transfers of staff from the Strategic Rail Authority to the Department for Transport to be effected by means of transfer schemes. These schemes will provide for the transfer of staff contracts, and will preserve existing terms and conditions, continuity of employment and length of service.


Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to encourage Network Rail to improve the conditions in (a) railway stations and (b) railway arches. [205546]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 16 December 2004]: There are approximately 2,500 stations on the national network. Network Rail owns all of these but directly manages only the largest 17. Any substantial improvements to these stations are currently specified by the Strategic Rail Authority and delivered by Network Rail. Over the past five years significant redevelopments have been delivered to several major stations. Recently completed projects include Leeds station which has undergone a £245 million modernisation to improve train capacity and passenger facilities; Manchester Piccadilly, where works costing £100 million to improve
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the station layout, accessibility, environment and roof were completed in 2003; and London Waterloo, where roof improvements completed in 2003 cost £41 million.

Examples of planned improvements include all Network Rail stations in London benefiting from increased CCTV coverage. In addition, the Scottish Executive are funding the design development phase of works to Edinburgh Waverley station, at a cost of £3.7 million.

Network Rail advises that it is continuing to manage and invest in its commercial arches portfolio. In the financial year 2003–04, the company invested £20.46 million in this area of the business and has budgeted £18.9 million for 2004–05 to upgrade its arch portfolio.

Network Rail will write directly to the hon. Member to outline its operational work in further detail and with specific reference to his constituency.

John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many crimes against a person have been committed at (a) rail stations that meet secure station status and (b) all other stations in each year since 1997, broken down by gender of the victims and incident type. [204718]

Mr. McNulty: The Secure Station Scheme was launched in 1998 with the aim of improving security and the perception of security at railway stations. The Scheme is optional, and once a station is accredited, the accreditation lasts for two years. Currently there are 168 stations accredited to the scheme.

In order to provide a detailed response to the question posed, the British Transport Police (BTP) have informed me that disproportionate levels of resources would need to be applied to conducting the research and analysis of the data. This would incur significant financial and opportunity costs. I am therefore unable to provide a full answer to the question.

However, BTP have provided a Force level breakdown, by gender, of crimes against the person for 1998–99 onwards.
Force wide

Sexual offences

1. Due to the changes in Home Office counting rules in recording crime, introduced in April 1998, data prior to that date are non-comparable.
2. BTP adopted the National Crime Recording Standards in April 2002 and this has contributed to the increase in recorded crime figures.

Road Accidents

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of road accidents involving (a) fatalities, (b) serious injuries, (c) minor injuries and (d) damages and in which a contributory factor was (i) alcohol, (ii) illegal drugs and (iii) legal pharmaceuticals in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [204959]

Mr. Jamieson: It is provisionally estimated that there were 560 fatalities, 2,580 serious and 15,870 minor injuries in 2003 as a result of accidents where at least one driver was over the legal alcohol limit. Information regarding damage-only accidents is not available.
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Equivalent estimates of casualties in road accidents where the use of legal or illegal drugs was a contributory factor are not available, as routine accident reports do not currently record contributory factors to accidents. However, under a pilot scheme, information on contributory factors to road accidents has been collected by 15 police forces. The influence of drugs was recorded as a contributory factor in about 1 per cent. of injury accidents recorded under this pilot scheme in both 2002 and 2003.

Traffic Management Act

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the timetable is for (a) consultation and (b) implementation of regulations to be introduced in 2005 under the provisions of the Traffic Management Act 2004; [206301]

(2) what his latest estimate is of the costs that will be borne by (a) electricity, (b) gas, (c) water and (d) telecommunications companies in 2005 arising from the provisions of the Traffic Management Act 2004; [206302]

(3) whether he intends to exempt operations in non-traffic sensitive streets from permit schemes to be introduced under the Traffic Management Act 2004; [206303]

(4) what local authority administration costs are to be allowable in calculating the fee for permits issued under the Traffic Management Act 2004; and when he expects to announce the fee levels. [206304]

Charlotte Atkins: We hope to go out to consultation on proposals for permit schemes under part 3 of the Traffic Management Act 2004, and on draft regulations under part 4 of the Act on various powers for local authorities to control utility street works including directing or restricting the carrying out of works, and for fixed penalty notices for certain street works offences, early in 2005. We will be starting work on regulations for other provisions in the Act during the course of next year.

We are still finalising the details of the new provisions, including permit fee levels, exemptions from the requirement for a permit and the possible cost implications of this for utility companies and others.

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