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4 Apr 2005 : Column 1182W—continued

Crossrail

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his Department's latest assessment is of the timescale for the implementation of the Crossrail project. [224164]

Mr. McNulty: Main construction of Crossrail could not start until the necessary powers are in place. A hybrid Bill seeking such powers was introduced on 22 February 2005. Previous experience, with the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Bill, suggests that the
 
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Crossrail Bill will not complete its passage before 2007. On that basis, the assumption remains that Crossrail services would start in 2013.

Departmental Budget

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the planned (a) capital and (b) resource budget for his Department is for 2011–12. [223445]

Charlotte Atkins: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary today.

East Midlands Airport

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will require the management of Nottingham East Midlands airport to provide full and frank factual information about its plans for expanding the number of night flights in and out of the airport. [224353]

Charlotte Atkins: We would expect the airport operator to include this information in its draft master plan, which is expected to be published for consultation during the summer.

Free Bus Passes

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether (a) pensioners and (b) people with disabilities wishing to travel by bus to neighbouring local authority areas will benefit from the free bus pass proposed in the Budget. [223985]

Charlotte Atkins: Concessionary fares schemes for older and disabled people are provided by non-metropolitan district councils, unitary councils, passenger transport executives and the London boroughs. Councils have the discretion to provide concessionary fares on journeys in neighbouring authorities, and authorities can agree to provide joint schemes over a wider area, such as a county, or a county and neighbouring unitary council. Many already do so and they will continue to be able to do so when the statutory minimum fare is increased from half fare to free fare in April 2006.

Freedom of Information Act

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what advice or instructions he has given to the Civil Aviation Authority about the need to deal expeditiously and candidly with requests from the public under the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and if he will make a statement. [224352]

Charlotte Atkins: The statutory guidance for public bodies on Freedom of Information, the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs' Code of Practice on the discharge of public authorities' functions under Part I of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, is produced by the Department of Constitutional Affairs. The document is on the internet at the following address http://www.foi.gov.uk/codepafunc.htm, and is available in the Library of the House.
 
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The Department for Transport has not given any supplementary advice or instructions to the Civil Aviation Authority on handling Freedom of Information requests. However, the Department has provided its own internal guidance on Freedom of Information to the authority, to assist it in producing its own guidance.

In line with the Code of Practice, the Civil Aviation Authority has established its own complaints procedure; in the first instance, an applicant should pursue a complaint through this if he/she is dissatisfied with the authority's handling of a Freedom of Information request. If this process is exhausted and the applicant remains dissatisfied, the applicant may complain to the Information Commissioner.

General Lighthouse Fund

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost in each year since 2000 was of the provision by the UK General Lighthouse Fund of navigational aids in Irish territorial waters. [224204]

Mr. Jamieson: The contribution from the General Lighthouse Fund to the provision of navigational aids in the Republic of Ireland since 2000 is given as follows:
£ million sterling
2000–014.4
2001–025.5
2002–035.8
2003–045.9

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the UK General Lighthouse Fund is a public corporation. [224205]

Mr. Jamieson: The independent Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for classifying economic entities in accordance with the European System of Accounts. The General Lighthouse Fund is classified by ONS as a public corporation.

Global Road Safety

Dr. Moonie: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what action his Department (a) has taken and (b) plans to take in response to UN resolution A/58/L60 on improving global road safety; and if he will make a statement; [224101]

(2) what action his Department has taken in response to the World Health Organisation and World Bank report on road traffic injury prevention of April 2004; what plans his Department has to work with road safety organisations towards meeting the report's objectives; and if he will make a statement; [224102]

(3) what mechanisms are in place to facilitate co-operation between his Department and the Department for International Development on global road safety issues; [224103]

(4) what contribution his Department has made to the pursuit of global road safety issues; and if he will make a statement; [224105]
 
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(5) what action his Department (a) has taken and (b) plans to take in response to UN resolution A/58/L60 on improving global road safety; and if he will make a statement. [224106]

Mr. Jamieson: The joint World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Bank World report on road traffic injury prevention" focused attention on the global impact of road accidents on low and middle income countries. The Department for Transport also welcomes the UN resolution on improving road safety. The resolution noted the recommendations of the World Report and invited the WHO to act as co-ordinator on road safety issues.

The Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) was founded in 1999 to increase awareness of road safety and promote reductions in deaths and serious injury resulting from road traffic accidents in developing and transition countries. GRSP is a partnership between businesses and governments and is sponsored by the Department for International Development.

Department for Transport officials support the activities of WHO in this area and are presently participating in work on child injury prevention. We recognise the problems faced by developing countries and have provided support where we are able, including sponsoring a conference on driver training and testing, held in India in 2002.

Highways Agency Business Plan

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the Highways Agency Business Plan 2005–06 will be published; and on what date in 2004 the Business Plan for 2004–05 was published. [224207]

Mr. Jamieson: The Highways Agency Business Plan 2005–06 was published on 24 March 2005 and the Business Plan for 2004–05 was published on 30 March 2004.

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason the Highways Agency Business Plan 2005–06 includes no reference to improving the A358 between Ilminster and the M5; and if he will make a statement. [224501]

Mr. Jamieson: The Highways Agency's Business Plan 2005–06 sets out the forward programme of major schemes to be progressed in the period 2005–06 to 2007–08. Schemes expected to be taken forward after 2007–08, including the proposed improvement to the A358 between Ilminster and the M5, are not included in the Plan.

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will announce whether schemes set out in the Highways Agency Business Plan 2005–06 as awaiting inclusion in the Targeted Programme for Improvements are to be included. [224502]

Mr. Jamieson: All the schemes set out in the Highways Agency Business Plan 2005–06 as awaiting inclusion in the Targeted Programme of Improvements (TPI), with the exception of M11 J8–9 Widening, were added to the TPI on 24 March 2005.
 
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In respect of the M11 J8–9 scheme, the Highways Agency has been asked to undertake further work so that it can be considered for entry to the TPI as soon as possible.


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