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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many private finance initiative and public private partnership contracts with his Department have been won by subsidiaries of Halliburton in each year since 1997; what the terms were of each contract; and if he will make a statement. [205077]

Charlotte Atkins: Only two contracts have been awarded by this Department since 1997. Both were to SPVs (special purpose vehicles) in which a Halliburton subsidiary had a 25 per cent. stake.

The first—a DBFO (design, build, finance, operate)—was awarded in April 2000, for the A13 Thames Gateway (transferred to TfL in July 2000). The Halliburton subsidiary was Halliburton, Brown and Root. The second—also DBFO—was awarded in February 2003, for the Al Darrington to Dishforth. The Halliburton subsidiary was Kellogg, Brown and Root.
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent by his Department in each year since 1997 on task forces and similar bodies. [204712]

Charlotte Atkins: It is not possible to provide yearly totals for departmental expenditure on task forces and similar bodies except at disproportionate cost. In many cases the costs are very small (e.g. those relating to small advisory working groups where members are unpaid).

However, information for some bodies is available: Low Carbon Vehicles Partnership, established in 2003–04—cost £500,000 per annum; Road Strategy Feasibility Study Steering Group in 2003–04 and 2004–05—total cost £1,500,00.

Non-departmental public bodies have not been included, since information on these is provided in the annual Cabinet Office publication "Public Bodies".

Rail (Car Parking)

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the availability and cost of car parking at terminus and key intermediate stations as a factor in attracting passenger traffic to the West Coast Main Line. [206633]

Mr. McNulty: The provision of car parking is generally a commercial matter for train operators. However, as part of its strategy for modernisation of the West Coast Main Line route, the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) has identified opportunities for car park provision at several key stations (for example Stockport). These findings have been shared with a number of interested parties including train operators and local authorities.

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with Network Rail concerning parking charges at Euston mainline station. [206797]

Mr. McNulty: None. This is an operational matter for Network Rail. I understand that Network Rail's Chairman Ian McAllister wrote to the hon. Member on 14 October on this issue.

Rail (Communications)

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what initiatives he is planning to improve cellular communication coverage on the West Coast Main Line. [206631]

Mr. McNulty: Neither my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State nor Network Rail are aware of any such initiatives.

Rail (Journey Times)

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what basis the maximum journey times stated in the public sector requirements for each rail franchise are calculated. [206632]

Mr. McNulty: Passenger Service Requirement obligations were based on the timetables in operation by British Rail at the time of franchising in 1995–96.
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Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by what percentage the maximum journey time stated in the Public Sector Requirement for rail franchises exceeded journey time (a) as shown in the published timetables immediately prior to the Hatfield rail disaster and (b) in the current timetable. [206796]

Mr. McNulty: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Passenger service requirements are available from the Strategic Rail Authority by contacting the Public Register Manager on 020 7654 6495. National Rail timetables are published by National Rail and are publicly available.

Rail Services (Industrial Action)

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many trains were rescheduled or cancelled as a result of industrial action on 12 December; and what the estimated financial loss to train operating companies is. [206232]

Mr. McNulty: This information is not held centrally and is a matter for the train operating companies.

Railway Stations

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funding is available for the re-opening of railway stations on existing lines. [206233]

Mr. McNulty: No specific allocations have been made in the Department for Transport budget for the re-opening of railway stations on exiting lines. This type of project would be considered to be an enhancement to the railway. In the recent Interim Review of Network Rail's access charges the Rail Regulator has allowed for some £2.1 billion to be spent on enhancements by Network Rail over the next five years. Any proposal for the re-opening of a railway station, which is in addition to that allowed for by the Regulator would have to be assessed in terms of its value for money as well as its affordability within the funds available for rail.

Ring and Ride Scheme

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the Ring and Ride scheme; and how much central Government funding has been allocated (a) this year and (b) next year for the scheme. [206035]

Charlotte Atkins [holding answer 20 December 2004]: There are two Ring and Ride schemes operating in the Totnes area. In both cases they are funded through a partnership involving the County council, the relevant District council and a local community transport group. The total funding from the partners for 2004–05 is in the following table:
Totnes and Dartmouth Ring and Ride29,335
West Teignbridge Ring and Ride24,915

This does not include revenue received from fares paid by passengers using the services.
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Decisions have yet to be made by the partners on funding for 2005–06.

The only funding available from this Department for the schemes is Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) which reimburses part of the fuel duty paid by the operator. Payments of BSOG are claimed in arrears on a six-monthly or annual basis. So far this financial year the Totnes and Dartmouth scheme has received £877.82p for the six months beginning 1 April. We have not yet received a claim from the West Teignbridge scheme for this year. Payments for 2005–06 will depend on the amount of fuel used on eligible journeys.

Road Repairs

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will include information on the cost of the outstanding repairs to local and strategic road networks in future national road maintenance condition surveys. [206569]

Mr. Jamieson: The national road maintenance condition survey measures trends in the condition of national and local road carriageways, footways and verges on an annual basis. It is not the most appropriate place for trends in the total costs of outstanding repairs to highways, which include bridges and street lighting, to be published.

Information on outstanding renewals required for local authority street lighting was published in the Department's response to the Transport Select Committee in June this year, based upon robust inventories of the lighting stock and its age and composition. More accurate inventories of the local road and bridge infrastructure stock and condition are now being developed. Along with current research into optimum service levels for the various classes of roads, this will allow better estimates of funding needs to be made in the future.

The Highways Agency maintains the strategic trunk road network on the basis of minimising whole life cycle maintenance costs. Through technical assessment of condition data, the correct maintenance is identified and carried out at the optimum time for a particular road, ensuring the network is consistently maintained in the required condition. The road renewals budget is targeted to meet this objective, thus avoiding the build up of repair work.

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will undertake (a) to maintain the strategic road network at optimum level and (b) to eliminate the repair backlog on the local road network by 2010. [206570]

Mr. Jamieson: The Highways Agency currently maintains the strategic trunk road network in accordance with minimising whole life cycle maintenance costs while keeping the network in good serviceable condition. Correct application of the whole life cost principle ensures that the road maintenance budget is focussed to keep the condition of the network at the required level.

It is for local authorities to eliminate the repair backlogs on their roads, although the Department strongly encourages them to do so. In the five years since
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2001–02 the Department has provided £4.2 billion in capital support towards this task. The good progress made by local authorities is shown by the high probability of the deterioration in local roads being halted in 2004, after years of decline.

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