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Mr. George Howarth:
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times he has met representatives of the cycling community over the past
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12 months; where these meetings took place; and if he will place copies of the minutes of these meetings in the Library. 
Derek Twigg: Department for Transport Ministers have had a number of meetings with representatives of the cycling community over the last year, including several at Great Minster House with Phillip Darnton, the Chairman of Cycling England. Ministers have also made a number of visits around the country to cycling facilities and meetings with local cycling interests. Minutes of these meetings are for internal records only.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many Article 14 directions under the 1995 General Development Order have been served in each region of England in each year since 1999; and if he will list all such directions and their location in respect of the north-east region since 1 April 1999. 
Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 24 November 2005]: An Article 14 direction is any type of response given by the Secretary of State for Transport to a planning application, be it refusal, conditions, advice, holding direction or consent.
The current database for monitoring Article 14 directions does not allow this type of information to be collated by region. Over England as a whole, the information requested is as follows for the last financial year:
|Planning application consultations received||3,733|
|Directions of refusal||79|
|Directions of conditions||137|
|Directions of restrictions on grant of permission||72|
A specific analysis of planning applications has been carried out for the Highways Agency's Maintenance Area 14 (which generally corresponds to the north-east region). This shows that over the period 18 August 2003 to 23 November 2005, there were 394 planning applications. Directions of refusal were given in five cases as follows. In each case the direction of refusal was given on road safety grounds:
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the level of contingency funding needed to underpin the construction of the Merseytram Line 1; and if he will place copies of the papers relating to that assessment in the Library; 
(2) what assessment his Department has made of the contingency requirements for the construction costs of Merseytram Line 1; when these assessments were carried out; what the results of these assessments were; and if he will place copies in the Library. 
Merseytravel submitted a final bid for Merseytram Line 1 in November 2004, and further advised on the costs in May 2005. In considering Merseytravel's bid, the Department considered whether the scheme offered value for money, taking into account the total costs of the scheme, including an allowance for risk. For this purpose, the Department took Merseytravel's estimate of the cost of the scheme, including Merseytravel's proposed contingency provision and 6 per cent. optimism bias uplift. The Department considered that the 6 per cent. optimism bias uplift would probably be reasonable at the point of contract signing, but also considered the impact of a 15 per cent. uplift on the benefit cost ratio.
Following that consideration, the Secretary of State announced on 13 June that the Government would not increase its funding for the scheme, but that £170 million remained available if the scheme could be delivered for that cost. It has been for the promoters to consider what contingency funding they need in the light of that statement.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what advice he has given to (a) Merseyside local authorities and (b) Merseytravel on the commitments they are required to make to enable the Merseytram project to proceed; and when this advice was given. 
[holding answer 8 November 2005]: Since the project was first approved, the Department has provided clear advice to the Merseyside authorities that
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the Department's contribution to Merseytram was capped at £170 million. All costs above this level would have to be met from local sources and that appropriate assurances would be needed from authorities contributing to the costs of the scheme.
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will publish the consultation on draft guidance relating to the proposed new Railways Closures Procedures introduced by the Railways Act 2005; and when he expects those procedures to be in force. 
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many train sets were ordered from United Kingdom companies that assemble train sets in the United Kingdom in each year between 1994 and 2004; and what the projected number of orders for train sets from those companies is for each year between 2005 and 2010. 
Derek Twigg: Bombardier is now the only manufacturer who builds/assembles train sets in the United Kingdom. Alstom previously built trains in the United Kingdom at Washwood Heath, Birmingham until it made a decision to close its facilities in the UK.
|Year of order||Number of vehicles|
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) new and (b) old train sets were procured for the United Kingdom in each year between 1994 and 2004, broken down by nationality of provider; and what the estimated numbers are in each year between 2005 and 2010. 
|Bombardier (Canadian)UK site||Siemens (German)||Alstom (French)||CAF/Siemens (Spanish/German)||Hitachi (Japanese)|
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the rolling stock manufacturers in the United Kingdom in each year between 1994 and 2004; and what the (a) location of production facilities, (b) number of orders and (c) number of employees was for each manufacturer for each year. 
|Bombardier (Canadian)(3)||Siemens (German)(4)||Alstom (French)(5)||CAF/Siemens (Spanish/German)(6)|
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