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25 Oct 2005 : Column 230W—continued

EU Directives

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the Answer of 25 May 2005, Official Report, column 127W, on EU discussions, if he will make a statement on measures to be introduced under the planned Directive on driving licences. [16172]

Dr. Ladyman: The proposed Directive on driving licences was discussed at the Transport Council on 27 June but no agreement was reached. However, informal indications from both the European Parliament and the member states remain generally favourable to the proposal in its entirety. It is the Government's intention to seek political agreement from Ministers at the 5 December Transport Council.

European Council Regulation 2407/92

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many applications were approved for a waiver under Article 8.3 of the European Council Regulation 2407/92 between 1 January 2001 and 1 May 2005; to whom they were issued; and by whom the Government have been approached for a waiver under the same scheme since 1 January. [21453]

Ms Buck: Between 1 January 2001 and 1 May 2005 the Secretary of State granted waivers under Article 8.3 of Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2407/92 to UK airlines as set out in the following table:
UK airlineApprovals
Aeromega Helicopters4
Air 200012
Air Atlanta Europe16
Air Cordial2
Air Kilroe12
Air Wales6
Airtours International Airways15
Atlantic Airlines12
Aurigny Air Services8
BAC Express Airlines11
BMI Regional10
Britannia Airways33
British Airways47
British Airways Citiexpress Ltd.23
British Midland4
British Midland Commuter1
British Midland Regional Ltd.1
Cabair Helicopters Ltd.1
Channel Express22
CHC Scotia Limited22
Cougar Leasing Limited4
Eastern Airways2
Easy Jet19
Euroceltic Airways6
European Aviation Air Charter5
Excel Airways85
First Choice Airways Ltd.11
Gama Aviation1
Global Supply Systems2
Gold Air International Ltd.1
Heavylift Cargo Airlines4
JMC Airlines4
McAlpine Aviation Services1
Monarch Airlines9
My Travel Airways42
Pool Aviation Ltd.1
Suckling Airways Ltd.4
Tag Aviation4
Thomas Cook4
Virgin Atlantic10
Woodgate Executive Air Charter9

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Since 1 January this year the following UK airlines have applied for waivers under Article 8.3 of Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2407/92:
UK AirlineApplications
Air Atlanta Europe19
Air Wales1
Airx Ltd. T/A Rockhopper1
Atlantic Airlines1
BMI Baby2
BMI Regional2
Britannia Airways3
British Airways3
British Airways Citiexpress Ltd.6
British Midland1
Channel Express7
CHC Scotia Limited12
Eastern Airways4
Easy Jet2
Excel Airways52
First Choice Airways Ltd.8
Monarch Airlines2
My Travel Airways14
Suckling Airways Ltd.1
Thomas Cook14

Ministerial Travel

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many air miles were accrued through departmental ministerial travel in his Department in 2004–05, broken down by Minister; how many were (a) foregone and (b) donated to charity, broken down
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by charity; and whether air miles accrued by officials were required to be (i) foregone and (ii) given to charity. [17327]

Ms Buck: No Ministers in the Department for Transport accrue Air Miles in undertaking official travel. Ministerial travel is conducted in accordance with the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers. Guidance for Ministers on the use of Air Miles is set out in the Ministerial Code. The guidance makes clear that Air Miles should be used only for official purposes or else foregone. However, if it is impracticable to use the benefits for Government travel, there is no objection to Ministers donating them to charity if this is permissible under the terms of the airline's scheme and the charity is one chosen by the airline.

Details of Air Miles accrued by officials in the Department could not be ascertained without disproportionate cost, but officials are encouraged to offset them against subsequent official travel. Where this is not possible, the benefits are foregone.


Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on plans for trial use of the hard shoulder as a running lane on the M65. [20345]

Dr. Ladyman: There are no plans for a trial use of the hard shoulder as a running lane on the M65. The Highways Agency are planning to trial the use of hard shoulder running as part of the M42 Active Traffic Management Pilot and this will inform any further roll out.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to widen the M25 between junctions 23 and 31; and if he will make a statement. [20102]

Dr. Ladyman: Both carriageways of the M25 between junctions 23 and 30 are to be widened as part of schemes that entered the targeted programme of improvements in April 2004. At present there are no proposals to widen junction 31.

Pedestrians (Car Accidents)

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many pedestrians have been (a) killed and (b) injured through being hit by cars or other vehicles in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [21281]

Dr. Ladyman: The number of pedestrians killed and injured through being hit by cars or other vehicles for the years 1995 to 2004 are given in the table.
Number of pedestrian casualties killed and injured through being hit by a car or other vehicle: 1995 to 2005

Hit by a car
Hit by another vehicle

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Public Transport Schemes (Lancashire)

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the total Government spending on public transport schemes in Lancashire has been in each year since 1997. [21162]

Ms Buck: Much of the Government spending related to rail cannot be readily disaggregated to local authority level.

The funding provided directly to Lancashire county council since 1997 that can be used for spending on public transport schemes is shown in the following table.
£ million

Lancashire county council nature of funding
Integrated transport blockTargeted bus grants(15)

(15) Includes rural bus subsidy grant and rural bus challenge funding.

The integrated transport block funding can be used for local highways or public transport capital projects. It has been for Lancashire to determine how that allocation has been spent, in line with its local transport plan and its priorities. On average councils spend about one third of this block on public transport schemes.


Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on progress on the new franchise for Thameslink services. [20578]

Derek Twigg: Bids are currently being evaluated by the Department for Transport. It is intended to announce the successful bidder before the end of the year.

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the impact of the new West Midlands franchise on rail services between Leighton Buzzard and London Euston, with particular reference to the (a) speed and (b) frequency of services; and if he will make a statement. [20904]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 25 October 2005]: The announcement by the Secretary of State on Tuesday 18 October determined the new franchise map, including the creation of a new West Midlands franchise.
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The specification for the franchise, including services from Leighton Buzzard, will be reviewed at the next stage of the process.

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what performance measures his Department has in place to monitor the (a) quality and (b) reliability of service provided by the company awarded the East Coast Mainline Franchise. [21573]

Derek Twigg: GNER's Franchise Agreement contains a number of measures whereby the Department for Transport is able to monitor both the qualitative and quantitative delivery of services. GNER's obligations include targets for the number of minutes delay caused to passengers as well as the number of services cancelled. GNER also has a punctuality target for 90 per cent. of services to arrive within 10 minutes by 1 January 2010. The quality of GNER's service is measured predominantly through a Service Quality regime, whereby its stations, trains and depots are periodically surveyed to ensure that standards are being maintained. The quality of its delivery is also reviewed and benchmarked twice a year as part of the industry-wide National Passenger Survey.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the level of Government subsidy for the railway industry will be in the 2006–07 financial year; [20566]

(2) what plans the Government have for future subsidy of the railway industry; [20567]

(3) what changes there have been in levels of net Government subsidy to the railway industry since 1997. [20568]

Derek Twigg: The Government's spending plan for rail were originally set out in Transport 10 Year Plan document published in July 2000. These spending plans were updated in Department for Transport Progress Report published December 2002.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's statement to the House of 10 February 2005 also sets out how the Department for Transport intends to allocate money on railways until April 2009.

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations his Department has received on the proposed Railfreight terminal at Radlett Aerodrome; and if he will make a statement. [21798]

Derek Twigg: My Department is not aware of any formal representations about this proposal. A number of informal discussions were held with the Strategic Rail Authority before the freight functions were transferred to the Department in June this year.

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the Strategic Rail Authority regarding the future of train services in (a) Sole Street, (b) Gravesend, (c) Higham and (d) Meopham. [19827]

Derek Twigg: The future train services at Sole Street, Gravesend, Higham and Meopham were developed, through consultation with stakeholders, by the Strategic Rail Authority in specifying the new Integrated Kent Franchise. These proposed train services for the new
25 Oct 2005 : Column 235W
franchise were approved by the Secretary of State for Transport before being included in the Invitation to Tender.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who is responsible for the pension deficit on South West Trains; what would happen to the pension liabilities in the event that a new franchisee was chosen; and if he will make a statement. [19985]

Derek Twigg: Most employees of South West Trains are members of the South West Trains Shared Cost Section of the Railways Pension Scheme. South West Trains, as franchise holder, is responsible for managing the terms and conditions of service of its staff, including pension arrangements, in accordance with general Employment Legislation and the specific legislation relating to Railway pensions.

In the event of a shortfall in this Section, the rules of the Scheme allow the employer and trustee six months after the valuation is signed to agree arrangements to make good the shortfall. The valuation as at 31 December 2004 is expected to be finalised by 31 December 2005 and so the six months will expire on 30 June 2006. If no agreement is reached within the six months there are default provisions in the rules that basically would increase both the members and employer's contributions.

On a change of franchisee, it is expected that the new franchisee will become the Designated Employer for the Section and assume all employer contributions for the Section.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many passengers use (a) Westcliff-on-Sea and (b) Leigh-on-Sea stations at (i) morning peak, (ii) evening peak and (iii) off-peak hours. [19995]

Derek Twigg: Latest figures available from the Train Operator (2002–03 survey), show the following results:

Westcliff-on-Sea station is used by approximately 700 people in each weekday peak. Off-peak travel from this station is also used by approximately 700 passengers, although spread over a larger time period.

Leigh-on-Sea station is used by approximately 1,850 people in each peak, with a further 600 passengers using the station outside these times.

"Peak" is defined as 0700–1000 and 1600–1900 weekdays, excluding public and bank holidays.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent representations he has received about train timetabling on the Hastings to London Victoria route. [20949]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 24 October 2005]: Representations have been received from local organisations, Members of Parliament, local councils and members of the public. Proposals for future train services on the Hastings to London Victoria route have been developed by the Strategic Rail Authority, through consultation with stakeholders, in developing the Brighton Mainline Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS). A final strategy will be published in due course.
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