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30 Nov 2005 : Column 562W—continued

London Buses

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what was the average number of passengers per mile travelled by London buses in 1999–2000. [31712]

Ms Buck: Buses in London are the responsibility of the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL). However, they have informed me that the total number of miles operated by buses in 1999–2000 was 220,136,730. During this period 1,296,000,000 passenger journeys were made. Therefore 5.88 journeys were made per mile operated.
 
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London Olympics

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the extent to which the construction of Olympic transport projects and Crossrail will affect each other. [31722]

Ms Buck: The project teams from both the Crossrail and Olympic projects are liaising closely with each other to ensure that the programmes of construction are properly co-ordinated. We therefore expect the impact of each programme on the other to be minimal.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what precautions will be taken to ensure that dust and pollution from Crossrail construction will not adversely affect air quality at the time of the 2012 Olympics. [31723]

Ms Buck: In consultation with local authorities and other stakeholders, we are developing a range of mechanisms to ensure the construction impacts of Crossrail are suitably controlled. This includes a Construction Code that details how Crossrail construction activities will be carried out including measures for the control of dust and other air pollutants. Any nominated undertaker appointed to construct Crossrail will be required to comply with the Construction Code.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the measures taken to explain to the public the relationship between the availability of funding for transport for the 2012 Olympics and the availability of funding for regional transport schemes and projects. [31724]

Ms Buck: We have always been clear that the transport plans published as part of the Olympic bid were based on making the best use of the existing network and improvements which were planned to have taken place before 2012 regardless of the Olympics. These planned improvements include schemes such as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, East London Line Extension and extensions to the Docklands Light Railway, all funded by the relevant body regardless of the Olympic decision.

As has been made clear throughout the development of the bid, additional schemes needed specifically for the Olympics will be funded from the Public Sector Funding Package of £2.375 billion. This is made up of funding from the lottery and contributions from London council tax and the London Development Agency.

We therefore would not expect the Olympics to affect the availability of funding for other transport schemes. We have consistently made it clear that, in taking funding decisions in connection with the Olympics or wider transport development, our objective will always be to secure the very best value for money.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of whether the capacity on the Docklands Light Railway will be sufficient to meet planning needs for the 2012 Olympics. [31795]

Ms Buck: We believe that the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) will have sufficient capacity to meet the needs of the 2012 Olympics. Planned works on the Docklands Light Railway, due for completion before
 
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2012, include the extension to London City airport, the extension to Woolwich and capacity enhancements on stations between Bank and Lewisham. The Secretary of State is also currently considering proposals to convert the North London Line to DLR.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the total amount is to be spent on transport schemes connected to the 2012 Olympics. [31808]

Ms Buck: The transport plans for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games were set out in the Bid documents submitted to the International Olympic Committee in November 2004. This identified some £7.2 billion for transport projects connected with the Games. This includes planned schemes, such as Phase 2 of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, which would have taken place regardless of the Olympics, as well as a number of schemes which are funded through Olympic budgets.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of whether adequate planning has been made to ensure that transport for the 2012 Olympics will be fully sustainable. [31809]

Ms Buck: London 2012 will be a sustainable Games—with this in mind, the Olympic Transport Plan will encourage 100 per cent. spectator use of public transport, walking and cycling. The successful Olympic bid was founded on existing and planned transport infrastructure in 2012, minimising the need for additional Olympic specific schemes and services. Wherever possible, vehicles producing low (or no) emissions will be used for both spectator and Olympic family transport.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what park and ride schemes have been planned in connection with the 2012 Olympics. [31810]

Ms Buck: The bid documents proposed two major park-and-ride schemes bus, situated off the M25. The main Northern site would be near the M11 and M25 junction and would have over 6,000 parking spaces. The Southern site, near Dartford river crossing, would also provide 6,000 parking spaces. These sites would be 20 to 25 minutes ride from the venues.

9,000 park-and-ride rail spaces will be available at Ebbsfleet station, which will link spectators to the Olympic Javelin service, providing access to the Olympic Park in 10 minutes. 10,000 park-and-ride bus spaces will be made available at Windsor Racecourse, a 10-minute ride from Eton Dorney, the Olympic rowing and canoeing venue. Wimbledon and other established sporting venues will make use of existing, established schemes.

Since the Games were awarded to London in July, we have taken the opportunity to step back and look again at these schemes and whether alternatives may offer even better value for money.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of whether the transport arrangement for the 2012 Olympic Games will be efficient without the completion of the Thameslink box development; [31811]
 
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(2) whether the Thameslink box was a scheme included in the bid for the 2012 Olympic Games; [31812]

(3) what assessment he has made of the effect on passengers using transport services at the 2012 OlympicGames of the non-completion of the Thameslink box. [31813]

Ms Buck: The transport schemes needed for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games were set out in the Bid documents submitted to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in November 2004. In addition, in February 2005 the Department announced that, following a review, the King's Cross Northern Ticket Hall and Western Concourse would be completed in time for the 2012 Games. This will improve the passenger interchange with the Olympic. Javelin Service operating out of St. Pancras.

The Thameslink Box was not included in the Olympic Bid documents or in any subsequent commitments to the IOC. Modelling produced in the development of the Bid has shown that adequate facilities will be in place at King's Cross and St. Pancras to cope with Olympic spectators. However, the Department is investigating the feasibility of an earlier fit out of the box in line with the completion of the CTRL Project and the transfer of Eurostar services to St. Pancras.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the need for (a) a travelator and (b) another mechanised link between Stratford Regional Station and Stratford International Station for the 2012 Olympics. [31814]

Ms Buck: The proposed travelator is not part of the Olympic Transport Plan. Subject to the approval of applications which are currently before the Secretary of State, from 2010 the DLR will provide direct access to the wider transport network from both stations and to all Olympic venues.

In particular, during the Paralympic Games when spectators hold day tickets, the DLR will facilitate efficient spectator transfer from the Olympic Park to the River Zone cluster of competition venues.


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