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23 Jan 2006 : Column 1726W—continued

Rail Modernisation Fund

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State forTransport how much of the Rail Modernisation Fund had been spent at the end of the financial year 2004–05. [40860]

Derek Twigg: We have invested some £7.7 billion between 2001–05 and plan to invest some £19 billion further by 2009.

Road Building (Lancashire)

Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what advice the Environment Agency has offered to Lancashire county council regarding (a) the Heysham M6 link and (b) the proposed bridge over the River Lune at Halton. [44657]

Dr. Ladyman: The Environment Agency is commissioned by Lancashire county council to advise on the Heysham-M6 Link Road scheme. Lancashire county council has been having ongoing discussions with the agency about all environmental aspects of the Heysham-M6 Link scheme. The design of the proposed bridge over the River Lune at Halton has been amended in accordance with advice from the agency.

Road Safety

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of fatal road traffic
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accidents were assessed as being wholly or in part attributable to the consumption of illegal drugs by drivers in each of the last five years. [44638]

Dr. Ladyman: Estimates of fatalities in road accidents where the use of legal or illegal drugs by drivers was a contributory factor are not available, because routine accident reports do not currently record such factors. However under a pilot scheme, information on contributory factors to road accidents has been collected by 15 police forces. The use of legal or illegal drugs by drivers was considered a contributory factor in about 3 per cent. of fatal accidents recorded under this pilot scheme from 2000 to 2004.

Strategic Health Authority Staff

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many former Strategic Health Authority staff have been redeployed to (a) Network Rail, (b) the Office of the Rail Regulator, (c) other Government bodies and (d) his Department; and how many have been made redundant. [43035]

Derek Twigg: 14 staff of the Strategic Rail Authority have transferred to Network Rail, four to the Office of Rail Regulation and 171 to the Department for Transport. As at 31 January 2006, 139 will have been made redundant. Figures are not available in respect of staff moving to other Government bodies.

Tram Schemes

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much direct Government funding has been allocated to proposed tram schemes in (a) Merseyside, (b) Manchester and (c) West Yorkshire; and what meetings he has attended where schemes were discussed in the past 10 months. [37885]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 15 December 2005]: I refer the hon. Member to my Statement to the House on 29 November 2005, Official Report, column 17WS, about Merseytram, and the Secretary of State's Statement on 3 November 2005, Official Report, column60WS, about Leeds Supertram. These Statements made clear that funding was no longer available for these schemes.

I also refer the hon. Member to the Secretary of State for Transport's Statement on 16 December 2004, Official Report, column 152WS, about Manchester Metrolink which confirmed that £520 million public funding would be made available to deal with transport problems in areas covered by Phase III. The £520 million budget included an up-front local contribution of £60 million, and £70 million to be recouped through deductions of £7 million per annum from Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive's Local Transport Plan allocations, for 10 years.

The Secretary of State has attended frequent meetings with ministerial colleagues and officials to discuss a whole range of departmental policies.

Transport 2010 Document

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made towards meeting
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the targets in the Transport 2010 plan for (a) increased rail passenger kilometres and (b) increased rail freight. [40857]

Derek Twigg: Annual passenger rail use has increased from 38.2 billion passenger kilometres in April 2001 to 42.4 billion passenger kilometres at the end of March 2005. This represents an increase of 11 per cent.

The amount of rail freight has increased from 18.1 billion net tonne kilometres in 2000–01 to 20.6billion net tonne kilometres in 2004–05. This is an increase of almost 14 per cent.

Tyne and Wear Metro

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how the operating subsidy for the Tyne and Wear Metro is determined; what the operating subsidy is for 2005–06; what discussions he has had on the operating subsidy for 2006–07; and when he expects those discussions to be concluded. [44589]

Derek Twigg: Prior to 1997–98 support for metropolitan rail services was paid indirectly to all Passenger Transport Executives. In the case of Tyne and Wear these payments supported both heavy rail and Metro services.

Subsequently, heavy rail subsidy has been provided through franchise payments to Train Operating Companies and a separate subsidy has been provided for the Tyne and Wear Metro. This was calculated, until 2005–06 on the basis of a formula similar to that in place under the previous arrangements. Additional amounts were paid to subsidise the operation of the Sunderland extension, which opened in 2002, according to the actual operating deficit rather than the formula.

The Department has been engaged in detailed discussions with Nexus, the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive, to establish a new basis for providing operating subsidy from 2006–07 onwards and an agreement should be concluded soon, enabling the subsidy level for 2006–07 to be finalised.

Vehicle Operating Service Authority

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many consultants the Vehicle Operating Service Authority employs; how long each has been employed; in what capacity; and at what cost. [35830]

Ms Buck: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) currently utilise 16 consultants. The majority have been working with VOSA for less than 12 months mainly assisting in specialist areas within projects such as MOT Computerisation project. This table sets out job functions and start dates of these consultants.
Job titleStart date
Interfaces Project Manager1 April 2002
IT Project Manager21 March 2005
Contract Manager17 March 2005
Programme Assurance Manager6 September 2004
Programme Manager14 December 2004
Project Management Consultant (employed on ad hoc basis)22 October 2003
Change Controller4 April 2005
Head of Service Management Delivery8 August 2005
Technical Assurance Manager1997
Project Manager13 June 2005
MOT Computerisation Reviews (employed on ad hoc basis)1 September 2005
Project and Programme Quality Assurance8 August 2005
Organisation Design Project1 September 2005
Technical Assurance Review of the Commercial Portal (project 50 days work in total)24 October 2005
Technical Assurance Review of the Commercial Portal (project 50 days work in total)24 October 2005
Technical Assurance Review of the Commercial Portal (project 50 days work in total)24 October 2005

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Although over the course of the current financial year, there have been other consultants working with VOSA, it would involve disproportionate cost to establish the total number. In total, in the financial year up to 20 December 2005, VOSA attributed £2,592,420 to all consultancy work.


Africa (Debt Repayments)

Ann McKechin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the value of bilateral debt repayments to the United Kingdom by each country in Africa was for (a) the calendar year 2005 and (b) financial year 2004–05; and what the expected value is for 2005–06. [42085]

John Healey: The following table shows the official bilateral debt payments received from African countries, and the debts cancelled, by the UK Government for the financial years 2004–05 and 2005–06. The figures for the 2005 calendar year are not held centrally within HM Treasury, DfID or the ECGD, and to gather all the information would incur disproportionate costs.
£ million

MarketRecoveriesDebt forgivenessRecoveriesDebt forgiveness
Cote d'Ivoire0.956
D R Congo2.539
Republic of Congo
Sierra Leone0.0520.001

1.Debt forgiveness figures as at 31 December 2005. There may be additional debt forgiveness before March 2006, but this cannot be estimated at present.
2.The payments by Zimbabwe were for ODA loans given by DfID.
3.The data for Botswana and Kenya include payments to CDC,formerly known as the Commonwealth Development Corporation.
4.Debt relief figures do not include payments from DFID to ECGD to allow 100 per cent. cancellation of ECGD loans and reimbursements under the Hold in Trust policy. These amounted to about £12.5 million in 2004–05. The estimate for 2005–06 is £1.2 million.

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