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12 Sept 2005 : Column 2419W—continued


Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect of the construction of Crossrail on mainline services between the South West and London Paddington (a) during construction and (b) once construction is complete. [13579]

Derek Twigg: Crossrail involves line upgrading work such as track alteration, electrification and platform lengthening. This will be managed through a series of night time and weekend track possessions and a two week closure of Paddington. When Crossrail services come into operation they will normally run on the northern pair of tracks, known as the relief lines. During normal running, Crossrail services will not affect the southern pair of lines, known as the main lines, on which the South West services operate, and there is no intention of displacing existing traffic from the relief to the main lines.

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the merits of supporting the Superlink proposal as an additional element to the Crossrail project. [13728]

Derek Twigg: The Superlink proposal would be a whole route alternative to Crossrail, not an element that could be added to Crossrail. I understand that Cross London Rail Links Ltd. assessed and rejected the proposal as part of its consideration of alternative routes to that set out in the Government's Hybrid Bill now before Parliament.

In addition to posing serious practical and environmental problems, the more expensive Superlink proposals would be contrary to the Government's wider policy objectives and would represent a much greater challenge in terms of funding.

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether an additional rail connection between the West Coast Mainline and the Great Western Mainline, as required by the Superlink proposal, is being considered within the Crossrail project. [13729]

Derek Twigg: No proposal for an additional rail connection between West Coast Mainline and the Great Western Mainline is being considered under the Crossrail project.

Cycle Lanes

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures will be taken to (a) incorporate cycle lanes into the transport system and (b) provide secured cycle parking, in preparation for the 2012 Olympic games. [14579]

Ms Buck: London's plans for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games were set out in the candidature file submitted to the International Olympic Committee in November 2004.
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These plans include proposals to allow parking for 4,000 cycles in the Olympic zone and to add 50 km of new cycle lanes to the London cycle network.

Driving Tests

Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) passes and (b) failures of the driving test there were in each test centre in Lanark and Hamilton East in each of the last five years. [14057]

Dr. Ladyman: The table shows the results of practical car driving tests conducted at test centres in the constituency of Lanark and Hamilton East in each of the last five years.
Pass/fail rates for test centres in Lanark and Hamilton East

PassFailTotalPercentage pass
Hamilton driving test centre
Lanark driving test centre

Dual Carriageways (Central Reservation Fencing)

Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of dual carriageway trunk roads have central reservation fencing. [14829]

Dr. Ladyman: All dual carriageway trunk roads in England with a speed limit over 50 mph have central reserve fencing, except where:

Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many kilometres of all purpose dual carriageways there are without safety fences in non-urban areas of England. [14833]

Dr. Ladyman: There are 3,979 kilometres of non-urban, all purpose dual carriageways in England. 2,551 kilometres are trunk roads and standards require these to have safety fences if the speed limit is 50 mph or greater and otherwise where they are justified.

Roads other than trunk roads are the responsibility of Local Highway Authorities. Records are not held centrally for the lengths of non-trunk, all purpose dual carriageways without safety fences.
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Environmental Costs

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the cost of the effects of the average (a) lorry and (b) motor vehicle on (i) the environment and (ii) the road network. [15063]

Dr. Ladyman: Estimates of the environmental and infrastructure costs imposed by lorries and cars can be found in tables 7.2 to 7.5 of Surface Transport Costs and Charges: Great Britain 1998" Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, July 2001. The research was commissioned by the then Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions and a copy can be found in the Library.

Equality and Diversity

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the Department has spent promoting equality and diversity in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [14657]

Ms Buck: The Department for Transport is fully committed to the equality and diversity agenda and has policies and processes in place to ensure that there is no unfair discrimination on any grounds.

The Department was formed in May 2002 and has specifically promoted the equality and diversity agenda and has spent:


The Department for Transport employs a team of 16 staff who specifically work on diversity and equality issues.

In 2004–05, £39,000.00 was spent running diversity and equality seminars and on related issues such as achieving a better work/life balance, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation; religion and or belief and harassment and bullying.

We consistently support participants on corporate diversity programmes such as Pathways (£15,000.00 over two years), the disability bursary scheme (£20,000.00 per year in 2003–04 and 2004–05) and the undergraduate summer placement scheme (£60,028.14 from 2002 to 2005).

We funded diversity and equality-related training courses for all staff including harassment contact officer.

We ensure that advertisements for external recruitment campaigns appear in all sections of the media. In 2000–01 we were involved in the Diversity UK exhibition (£3,619.00). In 2003–04 our vacancies were advertised in the Disability View magazine at a cost of £795.00.

Our policies and practices for all staff are general equality proofed in-house. However, to ensure that we are complying with the Cabinet Office PSA targets it was necessary to employ consultants to equality proof the Bands 4, Bands 6 and Senior Civil Service Assessment processes at a cost of £4,523.50.
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External consultants have been used for the positive action Green Light development programme aimed at minority ethnic staff across the Department.

Flitwick Railway Station

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the bid process for the new Greater Western and Thameslink/GN rail franchise will take account of car parking charges and capacity at Flitwick Railway Station, Bedfordshire. [14781]

Derek Twigg: As part of their bids, bidders for the franchise are required to submit plans that demonstrate how they intend to manage car parks at stations effectively, monitoring demand and matching it with a suitable number of parking places as far as possible. These plans form part of the overall evaluation of the bid.

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