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Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost has been of light rail schemes delivered since 2000; and what he estimates will be the cost of schemes to be delivered up to July 2010. 
Refurbishment and capacity enhancement to part of the Manchester Metrolink. This is part of a commitment of £520 million public sector funding for public transport, which could include light rail, in the areas covered by Metrolink Phase III.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport why the temporary 50 mph speed limit is in force on the M18 in the vicinity of junction 1 during periods when works are not taking place. 
Dr. Ladyman: The temporary 50 mph speed limit is in force on the M18 in the vicinity of junction 1 during periods when works are not taking place following a risk assessment which identified that it is safer for the road users and workers on site to enforce the speed limit for the full duration. Removing traffic management and the speed restriction while works were not ongoing would mean adding unnecessary safety risks to the road workers and road users, as well as extending the time required to complete the works.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects the roadworks in the vicinity of junction 1 of the M18 motorway to be completed; and when he expects the M18 motorway to be free of (a) roadworks and (b) lane closures. 
Dr. Ladyman: The roadworks in the vicinity of junction 1 of the M18 motorway are expected to finish in March 2006. The M18 is a strategic route and has regular maintenance and safety works. Therefore there will be roadworks and lane closures on an ongoing basis as needed.
The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) is responsible for monitoring Network Rail to ensure that it acts in the public interest and delivers the outputs for which it is funded, ORR publishes regular information
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on Network Rail's performance including the Network Rail Monitor each quarter and an annual assessment. As a major funder of Network Rail, and to facilitate its role in setting strategy for the railway and its other railway functions, the Department for Transport also receives regular monitoring information from Network Rail.
Derek Twigg: The credit support arrangements for Network Rail previously provided by the Strategic Rail Authority were transferred to the Secretary of State for Transport on 26 June 2005. There were no changes to these arrangements arising from the transfer.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his most recent estimate is of the capital value of Network Rail's assets; and what charge he holds over those assets in the event that the company becomes insolvent. 
Derek Twigg: The capital value of Network Rail's assets is a matter for the company and is set out in their annual report and accounts. The Secretary of State has no charge over any of Network Rail's assets.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the risk to (a) Network Rail's financial position and (b) its ability to service its debts if the Government should decide to reduce the level of activity it purchases from the Network; and whether he has made an assessment of the corresponding risk of the Government's guarantees being required. 
Derek Twigg: The total income required by Network Rail and the outputs it has to deliver for that income for a five year period is determined by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) in Access Charge Reviews. Under the arrangements in the Railways Act 2005, at the start of future Access Charge Reviews the Secretary of State must provide ORR with details of the high level outputs he wants the railway to deliver and the public funding available for this. In carrying out the Access Charge Review, ORR must have regard to this information in establishing Network Rail's income and required outputs. ORR also take full account of the costs of servicing Network Rail's existing debts and its overall financial position.
Network Rail's income and required outputs can only be altered within the five year period under circumstances determined by ORR. This would take the form of an Access Charge Review as described above.
Network Rail is making good progress towards delivering the obligations established by the Access Charge Review 2003, including its efficiency savings target. Financial monitoring by ORR indicates that Network Rail is well within its financial licence condition and the likelihood of the company becoming
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insolvent in the foreseeable future is therefore remote. Accordingly, no specific contingency arrangements have been considered. However, should a protected railway company be unable to or likely to become unable to pay its debts, the Railways Act 1993, as amended, includes powers for the Secretary of State to petition for a Railway Administration Order in relation to that company.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's submission to the Office for National Statistics concerning the classification of Network Rail's debt. 
Derek Twigg: Correspondence between the Department for Transport and Office for National Statistics about the classification of Network Rail is available on the Office of National Statistics website at: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/about/Methodology_by_theme/rail_network/default.asp
Derek Twigg: The Government does not define Network Rail's future activity. Under the arrangements in the Railways Act 2005, at the start of an Access Charge Review the Secretary of State provides the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) with information about the high level outputs he wants the railway as a whole to deliver and the public funding likely to be available for a five year period. Scottish Ministers provide similar information as regards the railway in Scotland. ORR will use this in the course of the Access Charge Review to establish the specific outputs that Network Rail has to deliver as well as the income it requires for this.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the economy of strike action on the national rail network in each year since 1997. 
Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average age is of the rolling stock of each of the heavy rail franchises; and whether the new contracts include plans to replace old rolling stock. 
|Average age of rolling|
stock (in years)
|c2c||4.5||296 new vehicles introduced, replacing the entire fleet operated by c2c|
|First Great Western||24.6||The Department for Transport is leading the procurement of new vehicles to replace the existing High Speed Train (HST), it is planned they will start entering service from the end of 2012.|
|First Great Western Link||14.8|
|GNER||21.2||The Mk4 'Mallard' fleet is currently 16-years-old. The High Speed Train (HST) fleet is now approaching 30-years-old. The Department for Transport is leading the procurement of new vehicles to replace the existing HSTs, it is planned they will start entering service from the end of 2012.|
|Island Line||67.8||Island Line is a small operator providing local and leisure services between Shanklin and Rye Pier Head on the Isle of Wight.|
|Midland Mainline||16.7||The Department for Transport is leading the procurement of new vehicles to replace the existing High Speed Train (HST), it is planned they will start entering service from the end of 2012.|
|Southern||8.1||742 new vehicles introduced as part of Southern Region upgrade, comprising two thirds of the Southern fleet.|
|South Eastern Trains||8.5||618 new vehicles introduced as part of Southern Region upgrade, comprising half of the SET fleet.|
|South West Trains||10.0||785 new vehicles introduced, (665 of these as part of Southern Region upgrade) comprising half of the SWT fleet.|
|Virgin Cross Country||3.6||352 new vehicles introduced, replacing the entire Cross Country fleet.|
|Virgin West Coast||4.1||477 new vehicles introduced, replacing the main West Coast fleet.|
|Wales and Borders||14.7|
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