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8 Nov 2005 : Column 287W—continued

Railways

Mr. Denis Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what date his Department plans to recommence the rail passenger partnership funding for new passenger rail services; what plans he has to review such funding; and if he will make a statement. [24945]

Derek Twigg: There are no specific proposals to re-introduce rail passenger partnership funding at this stage. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's statement to Parliament of 10 February 2005 sets out the funding for rail until 2008–09. Future funding arrangements for the railway will be reviewed as part of the 2007 spending review and the development of the high level output specification for Network Rail.

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans there are to upgrade the infrastructure at Shrewsbury railway station. [25332]

Derek Twigg: Network Rail is investigating potential enhancements to platform 3 in conjunction with Arriva Trains Wales, to improve capacity at the station, and this will be progressed after the impact of new timetables in December 2005 is known.

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the efficiency of rail links to Gravesham; and if he will make a statement. [24184]

Derek Twigg: The pattern and efficiency of train services throughout Kent including services to Gravesham have been extensively reviewed in preparation for the forthcoming award of the new Integrated Kent Franchise. The latest published figures show South Eastern Trains achieving an 89.3 per cent. on-time performance in the first quarter of 2005–06.

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what correspondence he has received from the London business community on its contribution to the funding of Crossrail; and if he will publish it. [24213]

Derek Twigg: The Secretary of State has received a number of letters regarding the funding of Crossrail from representatives of the London business community. The
 
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Secretary of State does not generally publish the correspondence he receives and has no plans to do so in this case.

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the efficiency of rail links to (a) Kings Langley, (b) Apsley and (c) Hemel Hempstead; and if he will make a statement. [25574]

Derek Twigg: These stations have benefited from the West Coast Main Line Modernisation Project. Platforms have been extended to accommodate 12 car train lengths at all three stations. New air conditioned trains are also being introduced for certain services and line speed improvements are being implemented during 2006, to allow more attractive and reliable services to be operated.

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has been made of the performance of South East Trains since it was returned to public hands. [26519]

Derek Twigg: The performance of all train operators, including South Eastern Trains (SET), is monitored on a four-weekly basis. The most recent figures for SET show an on-time performance of 88.3 percent. Corresponding figures for the most directly comparable operators are 89.1 percent. for southern and 92.1 percent for South West Trains.

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the staff turnover rate for Cross London Rail Links Limited was in the past 12 months. [26539]

Derek Twigg: I understand from Cross London Rail Links Limited (CLRLL) that, between November 2004 and November 2005, the number of staff directly employed by the company rose from 59 to 73; eight employees left the company and 22 new employees joined.

Road Usage

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his estimate is of road usage by (a) domestic and (b) non-domestic heavy goods vehicles in the United Kingdom in 2004. [25132]

Dr. Ladyman: The latest available information that separately identifies the use made of roads in Great Britain by UK-registered and foreign- registered heavy goods vehicles is for 2003. Estimates for that year are as follows:
Billions
Heavy goods vehicle trafficVehicle kilometres
(a) UK registered HGVs :27.6
(b) Foreign registered HGVs :0.9




Source:
DfT: Traffic in Great Britain, and Survey of Foreign Vehicle Activity in GB 2003




Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of transcontinental haulage lorries in the United Kingdom in (a) 2002, (b) 2003 and (c) 2004 were non-domestic; and if he will make a statement. [25134]


 
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Dr. Ladyman: Based on data collected by the Department about the number of heavy goods vehicles travelling to mainland Europe from Great Britain 1 the information is as follows:
UK-registered (thousands)Foreign-registered (thousands)Foreign-registered as share of total(1) (percentage)
20024931,29072
20034741,32273
20044931,44774





(1) For a small number of vehicles country of registration is not known.
Source:
DfT: Road Goods Vehicles Travelling to Mainland Europe




Schools (Peak-time Traffic)

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what support his Department is providing to initiatives to reduce the amount of peak time traffic around schools in (a) the Tees Valley and (b) the Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland constituency. [22071]

Derek Twigg: The Government want to reduce the present level of car use for journeys to and from school and make it possible for more pupils to walk, cycle or use public transport. The Department for Transport and Department for Education and Skills are providing support to all local authorities in England to help them achieve this through their joint Travelling to School" project.

As part of the project both Departments are providing joint funding (£7.5 million a year) to local authorities to enable them to employ school travel advisers to work with schools and help them develop and implement school travel plans and other initiatives to reduce car use. In addition, the Department for Education and Skills is awarding small capital grants (from a fund of £20 million a year) to schools with approved school travel plans to enable them to make improvements to school sites that will encourage sustainable travel to school. Both funding for school travel advisers and small capital grants was originally awarded for the period April 2004 to March 2006 but was extended earlier this year to March 2008.

Telecommunication Masts

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether telecommunication masts constructed by Network Rail will be used to provide mobile phone telecommunication services for the general public; and if he will make a statement. [25621]

Derek Twigg: This is an operational matter for Network Rail. Network Rail will respond directly to the hon. Member.

Transport Links (Essex)

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans the Government have in the context of the Thames Gateway to build new transport links in Essex. [25069]


 
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Ms Buck: DfT and ODPM are working with the South Essex Transportation Board to identify the further transport and other infrastructure needs of the area in the context of the Thames Gateway.

In 2003 the Secretary of State for Transport announced a £1.6 billion investment in the widening of the M25. This programme will take in widening between junctions 27–30 on the Essex stretch of the motorway.

DfT relies on the respective transport authorities to come forward with proposals for suitable schemes through their local transport plans. Provisional plans were submitted this summer and are currently being assessed.


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