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10 Oct 2005 : Column 97W—continued

Pensioners (Free Travel)

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the total additional cost of introducing free travel for pensioners will be in 2006–07; [15287]
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(2) what the cost to passenger transport areas will be for the provision of free travel for pensioners; and if he will make extra resources available to cover this. [15288]

Ms Buck: The Government will provide an extra £350 million in 2006–07 which will be sufficient to fund the cost to the concessionary travel authorities, including the passenger transport executives.

Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 14 June 2005, Official Report, columns 250–51W, on the private initiative, what total value of assets and liabilities for each of the listed private finance initiatives and public private partnerships is recorded on the Government balance sheet; what proportion of assets and liabilities is listed; what the accounting treatment is for assets and liabilities; and whether it is compatible with (a) generally-accepted accounting practices and (b) international financial reporting standards. [15956]

Ms Buck: For the financial year ending 31 March 2005, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's annual accounts showed a capital commitment in relation to the Estates PFI Agreement with Land Securities Trillium of £3.5 million.

The Vehicle and Operator Standards Agency's MOT computerisation PFI project is off balance sheet.

For the Highways Agency, the net book value of on-balance sheet PFI tangible fixed assets as at 31 March 2005 was £1,486,286,000. This represents assets held under all on-balance sheet schemes for the Agency. It includes PFI residual interests. PFI assets are valued at the public sector comparator, indexed to December
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2004. The value of the liabilities related to on-balance sheet PFI contracts was £866,621,000 as at 31 March 2005. £23,889,000 was payable within one year and the balance thereafter. Figures for individual schemes are not separately identified in the Agency's accounts.

It is not possible to quantify the proportion of assets and liabilities held on balance sheet, as the value of assets and liabilities off balance sheet for an agency and on balance sheet for the operator is recognised on the balance sheets of the operators. Their accounting policies relating to fixed assets may differ from our own and the value of the liabilities would not include any profit margin. Therefore, figures will not necessarily be comparable.

For all the Department's Agencies, the accounting policy for PFI contracts is consistent with UK GAAP as interpreted by Treasury guidance. The public sector complies with UK GAAP. The timetable for converging UK GAAP with International Standards is published on the Accounting Standards Board website and the Financial Reporting Advisory Board has plans that closely align with this.


Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when he expects to make an announcement on the award of the new Integrated Kent Franchise; [15271]

(2) when the Integrated Kent Franchise will begin; and if he will make a statement. [15272]

Derek Twigg: It is expected that contracts will be signed with the successful bidder before the end of 2005. An announcement will be made at this point.

Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the performance of South East trains (a) since November 2003 and (b) over an equivalent period under the previous franchise company; and if he will make a statement. [15273]

Derek Twigg: At the end of August 2005, the PPM Moving Annual Average (MAA) for South Eastern Trains (SET) was 85.3 per cent. The PPM MAA in the last period in which Connex South Eastern operated services was 79.4 per cent. This shows an improvement since SET took over the franchise of 5.9 percentage points. This compares to an equivalent improvement of 7.1 percentage points for train services in the South East sector as a whole, where PPM MAA at the end of August stands at 86.4 per cent.

SET has performed well in improving performance by working closely with Network Rail in order to reduce overall delays on trains and at stations.

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the environmental effects of increasing the carriage of freight on rail. [15023]

Derek Twigg: The Government's key aims for the freight industry are to facilitate the continuing development of a competitive and efficient freight sector while reducing the impact that moving freight has on congestion and the environment. Where the
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Government receive applications for grant to support the transfer of specific freight movements from road to rail we are able to assess the environmental benefits using a measure of Sensitive Lorry Miles (SLMs) which takes into account the environmental and social benefits of removing lorry journeys from the road. However, SLMs are route specific and cannot be used to make a general assessment of the benefits of transferring freight from road to rail.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent by the rail industry on improving rail safety in each year since 1997. [15688]

Derek Twigg: The Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) annual report on health and safety performance on Britain's railways shows that, overall, railway safety has progressed steadily over recent years. Copies of these reports are available in the House library.

Spending on safety and risk controls is not identified separately by the rail industry or the Department within budget lines as it is an integral part of all investment. For example, new infrastructure and replacement rolling stock will be safer than that which it replaced.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many passengers (a) died and (b) were seriously injured while travelling by rail in each year from 1976. [15689]

Derek Twigg: Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive's HM Railway Inspectorate are shown in the following table.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR 95) introduced in 1 April 1996 does not distinguish between a serious injury and a minor injury to members of the public. Consequently, for injury data from 1996 onwards, the reporting trigger is that passengers are taken away from the accident site immediately to hospital, which includes minor or possible injuries as well as serious ones. As a result, figures for seriously injured" are not available from 1996–97.
Passengers killedPassengers seriously injured

(30)Covers the 15-month period 1 January 1991 to 31 March 1991.
(31)Not available due to change in reporting criteria—RIDDOR 95
(32)Covers a nine-month period 1 April 2004 to 31 December 2004.

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Martin Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who is responsible for medium-scale rail schemes since the winding-up of the Strategic Rail Authority. [15733]

Derek Twigg: Following the reforms set out in the 'Future of Rail' white paper, the previous responsibilities of the Strategic Rail Authority for medium scale rail investment schemes have generally been transferred to Network Rail. The Department for Transport retains a role for some schemes where it has a significant interest, for example where it provides funding for the scheme or if there are major impacts on franchised rail services.

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library a copy of correspondence since 1 January between his Department and Network Rail with regard to railway embankment stabilisation works between Winterbourne Down and Coalpit Heath in South Gloucestershire; and if he will make a statement. [13697]

Derek Twigg: I have placed the correspondence in the Library.

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) incidents of and (b) prosecutions for (i) vandalism and (ii) trespass on railway lines in London by (A) adults and (B) juveniles there were in each of the last five years. [15577]

Derek Twigg: The number of recorded criminal damage and trespass offences committed over the last five years within the Metropolitan and City of London policing areas within British Transport Police's (BTP) jurisdiction is shown as follows:
Criminal damageTrespass

Due to the way BTP records prosecution data, it is not possible to provide prosecution statistics for London only. Therefore, the number of offences prosecuted for criminal damage and trespass based on date of offence are shown separately for the three London BTP areas. The BTP area, London North, covers North London, Northern Home Counties and East Anglia. The BTP area, London South, covers South London and Southern Home Counties. The BTP area, London Underground, covers the entire London Underground network as well as Docklands Light Railway.
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The information is as follows:
Criminal damage
London North
London South
London Underground

In reading the data supplied in the table, the following factors should be considered:
(i) The data supplied shows the number of recorded offences and prosecutions for trespass and criminal damage. The category criminal damage includes offences of criminal damage (including racially aggravated), arson, graffiti and vandalism rolling stock offences.
(ii) The rise in railway trespass offences is due to an improved internal audit process which has led to a steady improvement in the recording practice of these types of offences.

Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether requirements to tackle overcrowding are included in the Integrated Kent Franchise. [15270]

Derek Twigg: The franchise agreement contains an obligation to manage the available resources so as to minimise overcrowding, particularly on peak services.

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