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23 Jun 2005 : Column 1133W—continued

Global Oil Prices

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the assumptions used by the Future of Transport White Paper published on 21 March take account of potential future changes in global oil (a) prices and (b) resources. [1235]

Ms Buck [holding answer 26 May 2005]: The modelling and analysis supporting the White Paper was based on DTI's May 2004 long-term modelling assumptions for crude oil of $23 a barrel (2003 prices) in 2010 rising to almost $28 a barrel by 2020. This was consistent with assumptions used by the International Energy Agency.

A good deal of uncertainty surrounds all transport projections. At present, developments in the oil market are injecting a major element of uncertainty. Sustained higher oil prices would imply lower traffic growth. If crude oil prices were to end up around US$5 a barrel higher in real terms in 2010 than assumed, we expect traffic projections would fall by around 1 per cent.
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Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the British Airports Authority regarding the proposed third runway for Heathrow; and if he will make a statement. [5892]

Ms Buck: The Secretary of State meets with BAA on a periodic basis to discuss a range of issues affecting the company's airports, including Heathrow. There is a substantial programme of work under way in the Department, working with BAA and others, to assess the prospects for further development at Heathrow, including adding a third runway, while meeting the stringent environmental conditions laid down in the Air Transport White Paper (Cm6046). Further details about this, which is known as the Project for the Sustainable Development of Heathrow, are available on the Department's website (

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposed (a) third runway and (b) sixth terminal at Heathrow Airport on (i) road, (ii) train and (iii) tube routes to the airport from central London. [5894]

Ms Buck: The impact of an expanded Heathrow on the surrounding surface access network was examined in the run up to Air Transport White Paper. The White Paper concluded that any further development of Heathrow would require improvements to public transport (especially rail infrastructure) and that some form of road user charging should also be considered. The surface access measures necessary to support an expanded Heathrow are being examined further as part of the project for the Sustainable Development of Heathrow.

Kent Roads Budget

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much central funding Kent county council has received for its roads budget in each year since 1997. [6728]

Ms Buck: The Department for Transport has approved approximately £268 million of funding support for Kent county council between April 1997 and March 2005 in local transport capital settlements. Approximately £74 million has been for capital highways maintenance, £46 million for local improvements to the road network and roads based public transport and £148 million for major schemes (each costing more than £5 million). The major schemes were mainly road improvements, but also included is support for investment in the Fastrack public transport network in Kent Thames-side.

In addition to funding provided through the local transport capital settlement, the Government also provided funding to Kent county council covering most of the costs of the Ramsgate harbour approach road.

In addition central funding support for services, including routine highways services, is provided through revenue support grant. This is not allocated by the Government between individual council services.
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The funding support provided directly to Kent county council through the local transport capital settlement for each year is shown in the table. It has been for Kent county council to determine.
Kent county council local transport capital settlement

Capital highways maintenanceIntegrated transport blockMajor schemesTotal


David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research his Department has undertaken into ways of addressing parking shortages in town centres, with particular reference to controlled parking zones. [6546]

Ms Buck: The Department is about to publish the results of research about the extent to which restrictions in controlled parking zones are understood. This does not specifically deal with parking shortages in town centres, which is a responsibility for local authorities under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.


Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many complaints his Department received concerning each train operating company in the last year for which figures are available. [7107]

Mr. Darling: The Department does not index correspondence by train operating company, and this information is therefore not available.

The number of complaints received by the Rail Passengers Council about different train operators is published in its annual report. The results of the national passenger survey on passenger satisfaction are published on 24 June in the Strategic Rail Authority's National Rail Trends Yearbook 2004–05, a copy of which is placed in the House of Commons Library.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road bridges there are over railway lines in the Stroud constituency; and how many of these have additional measures of protection. [7241]

Ms Buck: This information is not held centrally. Gloucestershire county council is the highway authority for the Stroud constituency, and is responsible for almost all road bridges over railway lines there.

Road Lane Closures

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what authority (a) private contractors, (b) the emergency services and (c) others have to cone off road lanes; and if he will make a statement. [5910]

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Ms Buck: Private contractors carrying out works on the road for highway authorities should follow the advice in chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs Manual; if working for utility companies they should follow the guidance in Safety at Street Works and Road Works—a Code of Practice. These publications show how works should be set out, including how cones should be used to close off sections of a road, to ensure the safety of the work force and road users. If any works require a temporary traffic regulation order, for example to close a road, then the relevant highway authority must make the order.

Local authority or utility employees carrying out works on the road will be subject to the same requirements as contractors working for the bodies concerned.

The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 gives the police powers to place signs, which includes traffic cones, when dealing with events, incidents and emergencies. The Traffic Management Act 2004 gives Highway Agency Traffic Officers powers to direct traffic and to place signs on the agency's roads in order to manage traffic.

The Traffic Signs (Temporary Obstructions) Regulations 1997 specify the devices that may be used for directing traffic round broken-down vehicles and other temporary obstructions, and conditions for placing them. The devices include traffic cones, flat traffic delineators or traffic pyramids.



23. Mr. Breed: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on the female prison population. [6538]

Meg Munn: I very much welcome the recent announcement by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary of £9.15 million funding over four years for "a radical new approaches to help reduce women's offending". The new initiatives, set up in two areas, will include women's Community Supervision and Support Centres. These will provide women with one-stop access to the support and services needed to address issues that can affect why women offend, such as drug abuse, mental health, housing, child care and domestic violence. I and my right hon. Friend the Cabinet Minister for Women are in close contact with the relevant Ministers.

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