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Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his policy is in respect of the publication (a) on the departmental website and (b) by placing copies in the Library of (i) all or (ii) a selection of the information disclosed in response to freedom of information requests since January. 
Mr. McNulty: Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, all public authorities have a publication scheme that gives details of the classes of information that an authority makes available proactively and how they are accessible. Guidance on publication schemes, issued by the Department for Constitutional Affairs in July 2002, recommended that where information is disclosed to an individual in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act, Departments and non-departmental public bodies should consider whether the information disclosed is of general interest and include released information in the publication scheme where appropriate.
The Department is following this policy and is publishing in the freedom of information part of its website the information disclosed in responses to requests that it considers of wider interest. Where the information disclosed in responses is not available in electronic form, the Department lists it on the website with details of how to view it. The Department puts the information it has disclosed in context but for privacy reasons does not identify the person who made the request to which it relates. This policy does not include placing copies of the information disclosed in responses in the Library.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the public funding approved for the outer harbour for Great Yarmouth will have to be referred to the European Commission for approval under provisions relating to state aid. 
Mr. Darling: If Ministers agree to the East of England Development Agency's request to invest funding in the outer harbour, the project will then be submitted to the European Commission who decide whether or not the awarding of public subsidy complies with State Aid law.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the decision to approve public funding for the outer harbour for Great Yarmouth was based on (a) regeneration, (b) economic and (c) commercial grounds. 
Mr. Darling: Public funding for the East Port project has yet to be approved. In my view, there is no strong transport case for public funding but the business case made for EastPort has shown the potential to deliver benefits sufficient to justify the public funding proposed. In such circumstances I have concluded that transport considerations should not stand in the way of a favourable decision on this important project. It now falls to the Department of Trade and Industry, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the local authorities concerned to decide whether public funding should be made available.
Mr. Jamieson: The objectives of the improvement scheme are to provide safer access to and from the A12 by improving the junction arrangements at Hatfield Peverel and Witham, providing adequate space for traffic to merge and weave, and to reduce congestion by separating the existing local traffic between Hatfield Peverel and Witham from the A12.
Further to the outcome of the public inquiry into proposals for a link road on the south side of the A12 held in 2003, the Highways Agency has reviewed all viable options. Several are now being looked at in more detail and assessment work should be completed by early summer.
Mr. Jamieson: This matter is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA). I will arrange for VOSA's Chief Executive to write to the hon. Member once the investigation is concluded and for a copy to be placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles of road the Highways Agency plans (a) to build and (b) to repair in each of the next three financial years; and if he will make a statement. 
With regard to repairs, the Highways Agency is currently optimising its road renewal programme for the next three years, following the spending review 2004 settlement. While a detailed programme of works is not known at this time the Highways Agency estimates that approximately 1,100 lane miles of trunk road will be repaired annually for each of the three years (as stated above), subject to the availability of funding.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how the contract between the Highways Agency and Highway Services (UK) Ltd. will allow for unforeseen additional works to be carried out; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: My Department does not have a contract with the company mentioned but the M40 DBFO contract is with UK Highways (M40) Ltd. All my Department's DBFO contracts make provision for additional works and other additional services. Where my Department through its highways agency proposes additional works to be carried out it notifies the DBFO Company of such an intention by means of an additional works notice:
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the contract between the Highways Agency and Highway Services (UK) Ltd. allows for changes to be made to the per vehicle charge. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Secretary of State does not have a contract with the company mentioned but the M40 DBFO contract is with UK Highways (M40) Ltd. The shadow tolls payments in the 30-year contract between the Secretary of State and UK Highways (M40) Ltd. are calculated annually and indexed to protect the contractors against inflation using the retail price index as the basic factor. Inevitably this index will have performed slightly differently to the estimates made in 1996, but we are confident that the variations are modest.
Mr. Jamieson: The Secretary of State does not have any contract with the company mentioned but the M40 DBFO contract is with UK Highways (M40) Ltd. Performance of the contract is reviewed on an ongoing basis but there are no provisions for formal contract review.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how environmental objectives and criteria were dealt with in the contract between the Highways Agency and Highway Services (UK) Ltd; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: The Secretary of State does not have any contract with the company mentioned but the M40 DBFO contract is with UK Highways (M40) Limited. The contract required the company to incorporate into the construction all of the environmental features included in the approved design. The attached extract from the Design, Build, Finance and Operate Contract between the Secretary of State for Transport and UK Highways (M40) Ltd. details further general and specific environmental terms.
In the design, planning and execution of all works and functions associated with the operation and maintenance of the Project Facilities, the DBFO Co. shall take all such action and do all such things (including, without limitation, organising itself, adopting measures and standards, executing procedures, including inspection procedures and safety patrols, and engaging and managing contractors, agents and employees) as will and in such manner as will secure risk of adverse effects on the environment and on the amenity enjoyed by the owners and occupiers of land adjacent to the Project Road and to adjoining roads and facilities is minimised.
The DBFO Co. shall cultivate and maintain the landscaped areas of the Project Road so as to enhance the appearance and aesthetic quality of the Project Road and to mitigate its adverse environmental effects.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what priority the Highways Agency gives to environmental criteria in deciding whether to approve works on (a) motorways and (b) other trunk roads. 
Works undertaken by the Highways Agency on trunk roads and motorways are subject to appraisal against a range of criteria before they are approved to proceed. Within this appraisal, environmental criteria are given equal prominence alongside other criteria such as road safety and economic performance.
10 Feb 2005 : Column 1705W
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