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Road Improvements/Maintenance

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the current road improvement work in Coventry, South with particular reference to new road construction. [29512]

Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency has recently completed an improvement to the A45/A445 Leamington Road junction by providing a new roundabout at Ryton on Dunsmore, near Coventry.
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The agency is now preparing a scheme to create a two level junction at the A45/A46 Tollbar End roundabout and to widen the existing road between Tollbar End and the A45/A46 junction at Stivichall.

John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much funding was allocated to maintenance of (a) motorways, (b) trunk roads and (c) other roads in receipt of central funding in the most recent three years for which figures are available. [29273]

Dr. Ladyman: Funds provided for maintaining the strategic road network do not differentiate between motorways and trunk roads. The Highways Agency accounts for the strategic road network on a renewals accounting basis, whereby all work to maintain the existing level of service is classified as resource while maintenance that improves the level of service is considered as capital investment. The figures for the three years to 2005–06 are:
£ million


The resource figure for 2003–04 included £29 million for technology maintenance which in subsequent years is scored as capital.

For other roads maintained by local highway authorities the Government provides funding in three ways. Funding for routine maintenance (grass cutting, gully clearing, sign cleaning, minor repairs, winter maintenance, street lighting, etc.) forms part of the Revenue Support Grant settlement. Capital funding is provided through the Local Transport Plan settlement for structural renewal work (resurfacing, overlay, bridge strengthening, etc.) PFI credits are provided for individual street lighting and highway maintenance schemes. With the exception of PFI credits and major capital maintenance schemes greater than £5 million, a local authority may spend maintenance funding, capital and revenue, as it wishes, on any service it provides. The figures for the three years to 2005–06 are:
£ million

Major scheme1210
PFI credits790

The information does not include capital funding for the maintenance of roads in London, which is a matter for the Mayor of London and the Greater London Assembly.

Road Tolls

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans the Government have to introduce a road toll system. [26458]

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Dr. Ladyman: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 5 July 2005, Official Report, columns 171–74, that we would be taking forward a programme of work which would enable us to take decisions on road pricing in the future, as part of a broader solution to the problem of congestion.

Road Traffic Legislation

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the operation of section 40A of the Road Traffic Act 1988. [29852]

Dr. Ladyman: Section 40 A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 is a road safety measure that makes it an offence to use a motor vehicle on a road when the vehicle is in such a condition as to be a danger to any person. The enforcement of this measure is primarily a matter for the police and the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency [VOSA] who carry out regular roadside enforcement checks to ascertain whether a vehicle is being used on a public road in a dangerous condition.

School Crossing Patrols

Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the relationship between the current threshold of earnings before income support is affected and school crossing patrols recruitment. [29542]

Mr. Plaskitt: I have been asked to reply.

All aspects of benefit payment, including earnings disregards, are kept under constant review in order to ensure the fair and equitable distribution of benefit and the best use of public funds.

Any decision to give special disregards to a particular group of claimants is a complex matter with wider implications. We currently have no plans to provide school crossing patrols with any special disregard of earnings within the various income related benefit schemes.

Recruitment of school crossing patrol is a matter for local authorities. We are not aware of any direct relationship between benefit disregards and recruitment of school crossing patrols.

Surveillance Technology

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what discussions he has had with the Home Office on the application of intelligent surveillance technology; [26760]

(2) what discussions he has had with Ispotek regarding the application of intelligent pedestrian video surveillance systems; [26762]

(3) what plans he has for expanded application of intelligent surveillance technology related to the transport network; and if he will make a statement. [26764]

Ms Buck: We keep the transport security measures we require under constant review. We are supporting the Home Office's initiative to evaluate intelligent surveillance systems' for a range of applications including use on the transport network.
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Screening technologies are currently judged to offer greater potential. I refer the Hon Member to the statement of 3rd November on planned trials of screening equipment on the London Underground and National Rail network.

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how much his Department has spent in each of the last five financial years on intelligent surveillance technology; and what the (a) value and (b) nature is of contracts awarded by his Department; [26761]

(2) if he will list trials which have taken place to date on the use of intelligent surveillance technology related to the transport network. [26763]

Ms Buck: DfT has not funded or carried out trials of intelligent surveillance systems on the transport network. To achieve best use of resources, the Department for Transport works in close partnership with other government bodies on counter terrorism science and technology. The Home Office in conjunction with the Security Service coordinate work on the development and evaluation of intelligent surveillance technologies for a wide range of applications. For example the Home Office's Imagery Library of Intelligent Detection Systems' (i-LIDS) project is supporting developers by providing realistic training imagery and evaluating systems to assess their suitability for specific scenarios including transport security applications.

Speeding (Prosecutions)

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many prosecutions for speeding were made in West Lancashire in the last year for which figures are available. [27838]

Paul Goggins: I have been asked to reply.

Within the police force area of Lancashire in 2003 (latest available) there were 7,400 prosecutions for speed limit offences. It is not possible from the data collected centrally to identify the total for West Lancashire. 2004 data will be available early in 2006.

Train Journeys (Environmental Impact)

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the environmental impact of a journey between London and Birmingham by (a) an electric train, (b) a diesel train and (c) a car. [29306]

Derek Twigg: The following table compares total emissions of CO 2 ,the main greenhouse gas, and NOxand PM 1 0 the two pollutants of most concern to local air quality, for representative electric and diesel trains and a car travelling between London and Birmingham. Two sets of figures are provided, one detailing the total emissions for the journey, the other detailing emissions per passenger journey assuming average vehicle loadings.
CO 2 (kg)NOx (g)PM 1 0 (g)
Total journey emissions
Electric train2,0204,320129
Diesel train1,27010,800202
Emissions per passenger
Electric train5.912.50.4
Diesel train9.782.91.5

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