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9 Nov 2005 : Column 514W—continued

Public Sector Relocation

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people in his Department (a) were relocated in 2004–05 and (b) are expected to be relocated in 2005–06 as a result of the Lyons review of public sector relocation; to which places they have been relocated; and if he will make a statement. [24332]

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Ms Buck [holding answer 3 November 2005]: The Department and its agencies are implementing the Lyons Review recommendations to relocate 60+ posts out of London and the South East by 2010.

During 2004–05, the Department relocated 12 posts from London to Hastings and 25 posts from London to Derby. The work of a further 10 posts was dispersed from London to VOSA staff located outside the South East, making a 2004–05 total of 47 posts. No relocations under the Lyons Review are currently planned for 2005–06, but further relocations are planned for future years.

Public Transport

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government is taking to ensure people have access to effective public transport, with particular reference to rural communities. [25903]

Ms Buck: We are working with the bus industry and local authorities to ensure that all communities have the effective bus services they need. The Bus Partnership Forum brings together senior representatives of the industry, central and local government to find practical ways of improving local bus services. The forum has, for example, published guidance on improving the punctuality of bus services and has encouraged bus operators and local authorities to form local punctuality improvement partnerships to help bring about improvements in performance.

Local and central Government provides funding of over £1.6 billion annually to support bus services. This includes £53 million this year provided by the Department in the form of Rural Bus Subsidy Grant to assist local authorities to support bus services in rural areas. Since 1998 we have also allocated a total of £110 million to 300 rural transport projects under the Rural Bus Challenge scheme.

On 1 November we announced Kickstart" support, totalling £20 million, for 43 projects involving new and improved bus services which will become viable through growth in passenger numbers after an initial period of pump-priming from Government funds. 11 of these schemes will serve areas which are mainly rural in character.

Finally, we are expecting all local transport authorities to include accessibility strategies in their next Local Transport Plans, due in March next year. These strategies should be based on evidence and analysis of the problems people face in accessing jobs and essential services and facilities. They should include consideration of the accessibility and availability of local public transport. Our guidance to authorities makes clear that the strategies should take account of the particular needs of rural communities.

Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to improve public transport (a) in Leeds and (b) in West Yorkshire. [26171]

Ms Buck: This Government has invested in long term public transport improvements in Leeds and West Yorkshire as a whole. Funding provided to local authorities for local highways and public transport
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capital projects in West Yorkshire has increased by 46 per cent. in real terms over the last five years, from £34 million in 2000–01 to £54 million in 2005–06.

West Yorkshire has also benefited from significant investment in major bus schemes, with £39 million committed since 2001 to schemes that are realising major improvements in bus services. These include East Leeds Quality Bus Corridor, A641 Manchester Road, Bradford Quality Bus Scheme and West Yorkshire Education Transport (My Bus).

With regard to rail, 16 new four-coach Class 333 electric trains have been introduced on the Airedale and Wharfedale lines, which have seen a significant increase in patronage. This success story has helped rail patronage in West Yorkshire to rise from 16.3 million passengers in 1999–2000 to 21.1 million in 2004–05, an increase of 30 per cent. The new TransPennine franchise began in February 2004. It will deliver more than £250 million worth of investment, with a brand new fleet of 50 trains due to be introduced in 2006. Also benefiting Leeds and West Yorkshire is a 44 per cent. increase in East Coast main line services since 1996—currently 53 services per day, rising to 66 services per day in December 2007.


Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made in the development of the rail accident investigation branch since its establishment; how many times its officials have met representatives of the light rail sector; and what protocols have been established with the light rail sector. [26529]

Derek Twigg: The rail accident investigation branch (RAIB) was established in 2003 and consultation took place with 165 organisations in drawing up the Railways (Accident Investigation and Reporting) Regulations 2005. These regulations, which in addition to the Railway Transport and Safety Act 2003, give the RAIB its powers and duties came into force on 17 October 2005.

The RAIB has worked closely with the rail industry, including the light rail sector, during its development.

No protocols have been established for light rail as this has not been seen to be necessary by either the RAIB or the light rail sector. It is industry's responsibility to ensure their operational procedures are revised to reflect the changes necessary to comply with the rail accident investigation and reporting regulations and to reflect RAIB's work. However RAIB has had discussions with the light rail sector to facilitate this and has issued guidance. The light rail sector has indicated this has provided all the information necessary.

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times officials from the Rail Accident and Investigation Branch have met representatives of (a) the police and (b) the Health and Safety Executive. [26531]

Derek Twigg: Since the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) was formed in 2003, officials from the RAIB have had frequent meetings with both the police and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
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Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) passengers in excess capacity and (b) total number of passengers was (i) for each London commuting service train operator and (ii) in total, broken down into (A) am peak and (B) pm peak figures measured in the most recent survey; and how
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many peak passengers into London there were for (1) am peak periods, (2) pm peak periods and (3) in total for each London commuting service train operator in that period. [24439]

Derek Twigg: The figures requested are in the following table:
Passenger counts : Services to and from London Terminals

TOCsAM peak number of trainsNumber of passengersPIXCPIXC (%)PM peak number of trainsNumber of passengersPIXCPIXC (%)Overall
South West Trains13382,1395,6076.813862,8157101.14.4

Capacity measured at the point on the journey where the highest number of passengers is carried.

Road Accidents/Safety

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) road traffic accidents and (b) road fatalities there have been on the A14 in Suffolk in each of the last 10 years. [25181]

Dr. Ladyman: The number of personal injury road accidents and the number of resultant fatalities on the A14 in the county of Suffolk for the years 1995 to 2004 are shown in the table.
Year of accidentPersonal injury accidentsFatalities

The Department for Transport does not collect statistics on damage-only accidents.

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the road safety implications of variable or rolling advertising billboards at road junctions; and if he will make a statement. [25002]

Dr. Ladyman: The Department has not undertaken such an assessment. Local planning authorities are responsible for the control of outdoor advertisements. They are required by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to consider public safety before giving consent to display an advertisement. Advice to them is to consider the effect of the advertisement on the safe use and operation of any form of traffic when considering an application for consent to display any advertising billboards at road junctions.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road safety violations by (a) domestic and (b) non-domestic heavy goods vehicles in England and Wales were recorded by the British Transport Police in England and Wales in (i) 2002, (ii) 2003 and (iii) 2004; and if he will make a statement. [25135]

Derek Twigg: The numbers of crimes recorded in England and Wales by the British Transport Police (BTP) for the offence of failing to obey road traffic signs are shown as follows:
Number of crimes

The separate figures for (a) domestic and (b) non-domestic heavy goods vehicles can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to record the nationality of all drivers involved in road traffic accidents in (a) Hemel Hempstead constituency and (b) Hertfordshire. [25743]

Dr. Ladyman: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 3 November 2005, Official Report, column 1289W.

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