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Derek Twigg: The 2004 Environmental Statement for the Thameslink 2000 project did consider the potential for the use of river barges for the construction of the project. The document identified that river barges could possibly be used to assist in the construction of Blackfriars station, for example, the transportation of large items of equipment and the removal of material.
Further consideration of the extent to which river transport can be used will be given once contractors are appointed for the implementation of the project and detailed construction strategies are agreed.
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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 12 September 2005 , Official Report, column 2399W, on the tonnage tax, (1) for what reasons no prosecutions have resulted for the year 200405; and if he will make a statement; 
Dr. Ladyman: The Department does not routinely prosecute companies which are late in making end of period adjustment returns. We prefer instead to remind them that they should comply with their obligations in this regard, and that there may be penalties (including prosecution) if they fail to do so. We find that this is an efficacious approachthere is now only one complete return outstanding from periods 1 and 2 of 200405, for which we are vigorously chasing the company concerned.
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the impact of the Traffic Management Act 2004 on the Government objectives of (a) improvement to access to broadband, (b) reducing water leakage and conserving water supplies, (c) replacing major energy and water infrastructure and (d) urban regeneration; 
(2) what his latest estimate is of the costs that will be borne by (a) electricity, (b) gas, (c) water and (d) telecommunications companies arising from the provisions of the Traffic Management Act 2004. 
Ms Buck: We will introduce regulations under the Traffic Management Act 2004 intended to reduce the impact of street works on congestion. The measures will not prevent investment or renewal by utility companies but aim to ensure that work is carried out in a way that minimises the impact on road users. Where street authorities operate permit schemes fees will be payable by utilities for permits. These will be payable to Street Authorities to reflect the resource required for them to consider works by utility companies under the more proactive permit arrangements which are intended to improve control and co-ordination of street works by authorities.
The consultation on these measures revealed widely ranging views on permit fees, and other aspects of this new concept. we are therefore to reconvene a working group on permits, comprising representatives of utility companies and Street Authorities, which advised on the permit proposals, to look at the proposed fees for permits.
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Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what progress he has made in considering the Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Strategy submitted to his Department on 4th April; 
Derek Twigg: The Integrated Transport Strategy for Greater Manchester incorporates proposals for Metrolink Phase III into a wider package of measures. The Department has had a number of discussions with Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive concerning their strategy and these are continuing.
Derek Twigg: The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) are our statutory advisers on the transport and mobility needs of disabled people. The committee had no links with the Rail Passengers Council North West but the Rail Passengers Council (like its predecessor) has been invited to participate in the DPTAC Rail Working Group.
Derek Twigg: The process by which the new Rail Passengers Council members were appointed by the Secretary of State was regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) and in line with the code of practice for ministerial appointments to public bodies, which is issued by OCPA. The process was validated by an independent assessor.
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department has taken to ensure that (a) issues affecting disabled passengers and (b) regional issues are dealt with effectively by the Rail Passengers Council GB. 
Derek Twigg: The Rail Passenger Council (RPC) will establish its own work programme, which will include setting up a working group which will ensure that the new RPC is accessible to, and inclusive of, the needs of disabled passengers and other groups of vulnerable consumers.
Derek Twigg: The members of the Rail Passengers Council (RPC) appointed by the Secretary of State were not appointed to represent particular geographical areas. They were appointed because they best demonstrated the published criteria for membership of the new RPC. As members of a single, national body, covering all parts of Great Britain, members of the RPC are expected to represent passengers on this basis, working in partnership with the RPC staff.
Derek Twigg: The 14 appointed members of the new Rail Passengers Council (RPC) live in Monmouthshire, Fife, Cambridgeshire (three), Shropshire, Norfolk, East Yorkshire, Worcestershire, Hertfordshire, London (two), Kent and East Lothian. The appointment by the National Assembly for Wales is still to be made.
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions his Department has had with (a) the regional passenger councils, (b) other groups and organisations representing passengers and (c) groups and organisations representing disabled passengers about the creation of Rail Passengers Council GB. 
Derek Twigg: As set out in the Future of Rail White Paper, Ministers supported proposals for reform from the then RPC chair, Stewart Francis. A wide range of stakeholders were consulted in developing these proposals further. These stakeholders included the regional Rail Passenger Committees (some of whom had links to regional Passenger Transport User Forums), other groups and organisations representing passengers (for example, Rail User Groups), the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) and the Disability Rights Commission.
Derek Twigg: Information on the objectives and operation of the Transport Innovation fund was published on 5 July 2005 in the paper The Transport Innovation Fund". This paper outlined the characteristics that successful schemes would meet. More detailed guidance on the operation of the fund, including information on the application and decision making process, will be published by the end of 2005.
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