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Mr. Anthony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) fatal motor vehicle accidents, (b) fatalities, (c) motor vehicle accidents resulting in serious injury and (d) motor vehicle accidents requiring the attendance of an ambulance there were on the A47 Acle Straight in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the relationship between the relative level of expenditure on routine road maintenance by highway authorities and the cost of capital road replacement works by those authorities. 
For local authorities funding for routine road maintenance is provided through the formula spending share element of revenue support grant and for capital road maintenance through the maintenance block element of the Local Transport Plan settlement. Neither of these provisions is ring fenced. Routine maintenance consists of work to keep the road network safe and in good condition, for example, minor repairs, drainage cleansing, sign cleaning, grass cutting, gritting in winter, street lighting work and energy, etc.
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Capital maintenance consists of structural work to strengthen and renew carriageways, footways, bridges and street lighting columns.
Road maintenance in London is a matter for the Mayor and the Greater London Assembly. Figures for motorways and trunk road maintenance are not comparable with local roads as the method of accounting used, renewals accounting, is different.
|Capital outturn||Revenue outturn||Total outturn|
The Department's information on fines following offences detected by safety cameras (both speed and red light cameras) relates to the totals for safety camera partnerships, and not to individual camera sites or boroughs.
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Coventry is part of the West Midlands Safety Camera Partnership. The following table shows the total of fines following offences detected by the West Midlands partnership since joining the national programme in October 2002:
|200203 (6 months)||704,520|
As a result of the partnership joining in October 2002, the total fines collected in 200203 relate to six months only and reflect the fact that the partnership was in its early stages. Figures for 200405 will be published on the DfT website in due course.
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which company holds each rail franchise; what targets each has (a) met and (b) missed; and when each franchise (i) began and (ii) will expire. 
Franchise agreements contain numerous targets relating to service quality, punctuality, financial performance, customer service and a range of other issues. It is not practicable to list them all here. However, customer service information is available from the Office of Rail Regulation's website and punctuality data from Network Rail's website.
|Franchise operator||Franchisee||Franchise start date||Franchise end date|
|West Coast Trains Limited||Virgin Rail Group Ltd.||19 February 1997||31 March 2012|
|Crosscountry Trains Limited||Virgin Rail Group Ltd.||5 January 1997||11 November 2007|
|Chiltern||M40 Trains Ltd.||3 March 2002 (with a shrink-back provision if future enhancements are not met. At present the minimum franchise term is confirmed at 12 years)||31 December 2021|
|Central Trains Limited||National Express Group plc.||2 March 1997||(16)31 March 2006|
|Silverlink Train Services Limited||National Express Group plc.||6 February 1997||15 October 2006|
|Southern||Govia Ltd.||12 May 2003||31 December 2009 (or an earlier date if notice served on franchise(e)|
|Gatwick Express||National Express Group plc.||28 April 1996||29 April 2011|
|First Great Western Link||Great Western Holdings Ltd. (First Group plc.)||1 April 2004||1 April 2006|
|First Great Western Trains||Great Western Holdings Ltd. (First Group plc.)||5 February 1996||1 April 2006|
|Arriva Trains Wales||Arriva Trains Ltd.||8 December 2003||14 October 2018|
|C2c Rail Limited||National Express Group plc.||26 May 1996||25 May 2011|
|Wessex (Interim franchise agreement)||National Express Group plc.||14 October 2001||31 March 2006|
|Midland Mainline||National Express Group plc.||28 April 1996||26 April 2008|
|WAGN||National Express Group plc.||Original Franchise Agreement made on 5 December 1996 extended on 1 April 2004||Original termination date 1 April 2004 extended to 1 April 2006|
|Thameslink||Govia Ltd.||Original Franchise Agreement made on 10 February 1997 extended on 1 April 2004||Original termination date 1 April 2004 extended to 1 April 2006|
|Trans Pennine Express||First/Keolis TransPennine Holdings Ltd.||1 February 2004||1 February 2012 (with a possible five years extension of not more than 65 reporting periods)|
|ONE||National Express Group plc.||1 April 2004||1 April 2014|
|South West Trains||Stagecoach Group plc.||2 February 2004||2 February 2007|
|South Eastern Trains||SET (Holdings) Ltd.||9 November 2003||1 April 2006|
|Northern||Northern rail Ltd.||12 December 2004||18 September 2011|
|GNER||Great North Eastern Rail Ltd.||1 May 2005||1 May 2012 (with an automatic further 3 years if targets are met)|
|Island Line||Stagecoach Group plc.||4 February 2004||4 February 2007|
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultations have taken place with the rail franchises on safety; how much each franchisee spent on safety in 200405; what assessment has been made by the Department about the adequacy of this spending. 
Derek Twigg: As a condition of their licence from the Office of Rail Regulation, train operators are required to have a Railway Safety Case which has been assessed and accepted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), or an agreed exemption. Operators' safety cases are reviewed by HSE every three years. In addition, during the re-franchising process HSE is consulted and provides advice to the Department for Transport on the quality of bidders' proposals in terms of health and safety. Spending on safety is not separately accounted for by train operators.
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what level of liaison is required to take place between rail franchises and passenger groups; how many of these meetings have taken place; and what assessment has been made of the effectiveness of such meetings. 
Derek Twigg: Franchise agreements requires train operators to consult with statutory consumer bodies over any changes that will impact on passengers. These consumer bodies are the Rail Passengers Council and London TravelWatch. Both of these organisations are able to pursue any dissatisfaction they may have on the effectiveness of such meetings with the Department for Transport and the Office of Rail Regulation, as the appropriate enforcement bodies. No such representations have been received.
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what percentage of train operating companies' total costs were represented by labour costs in each year between 1997 and 2004; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what the (a) average and (b) total combined operating profit of train operating companies before interest and tax (i) without and (ii) including subsidies was in each year between 1997 and 2004; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what the (a) average and (b) total combined amount of dividends paid by train operating companies to their parent companies was in each year between 1997 and 2004; and if he will make a statement; 
(5) what the total amount of subsidies paid by the Strategic Rail Authority to train operating companies was in (a) 1997, (b) 1998, (c) 1999, (d) 2000, (e) 2001, (f) 2002, (g) 2003 and (h) 2004; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the extent to which franchising agreements between Network Rail and train operating companies (a) ensure value for money, (b) encourage competition in the railway industry, (c) are in the interest of taxpayers, (d) protect the interest of passengers and (e) transfer risk to the private sector. 
The Department seeks to ensure that the interests of passengers and the taxpayer are protected through the franchise specification and tendering process. The assessment of value for money is undertaken at the point of franchise re-letting when the costs and benefits of propositions from franchise bidders are evaluated.
Competition within the rail industry is secured through the competitive tendering process for franchises. The delivery of these benefits is monitored and enforced through continuous management of the franchise contract, which is carried out by a specialist team within the Department.
Derek Twigg: Train operating companies (TOCs) participate in the Railways Pension Scheme, with generally separate sections for each TOC employer. It is the responsibility of each TOC to manage the pension arrangements for its staff, in accordance with general pensions legislation and the specific legislation relating to railway pensions.
No additional financial burden is placed on incumbent franchisees during the tendering process. They are, however, required to provide access to information (including financial and operational information) in connection with the preparation for the re-letting of a franchise and to provide information in response to bidders' clarification questions during the bidding process.
15 Nov 2005 : Column 1151W
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