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1 Feb 2006 : Column 555W—continued

Departmental Website

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost of maintaining his main departmental website was for the last year for which figures are available; and how many visitors there were to the site in each of the last 12 months. [46309]

Ms Buck: The total cost of the Department for Transport's main website at:

www.dft.gov.uk for the financial year 2004–05 was £290,035. This cost includes hosting, maintenance and development. It does not include staff costs.
Unique visitors to the Department for Transport website—2005

Unique visitors
January117,333
February117,722
March134,296
April134,561
May125,765
June122,320
July112,853
August136,300
September127,740
October125,336
November137,404
December115,945
Total1,507,575


 
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In the period of the last financial year (2004–05) the total number of unique visitors was 1,302,712 with a total number of visits of 2,842,657. The cost per visit over the same period was therefore 0.1 pence.

Highways Agency

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State forTransport what the administration costs are of theHighways Agency to date in the financial year 2005–06. [44669]

Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency's administration costs to 31 December 2005 in the financial year 2005–06 are £70,166,841. This figure includes salary costs.

Lockerbie Station

David Mundell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the footbridge at Lockerbie railway station is being considered for funding under the Railways for All scheme. [45294]

Ms Buck: Decisions on Railways for All funding relating to stations in Scotland will be a matter for Scottish Ministers and we are working closely with Transport Scotland, the new national transport agency. We propose to publish shortly the final Railways for All strategy, which will include details of how the funding will be targeted.

David Mundell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what account is taken of the needs of users at Lockerbie railway station when timetabling for cross-border rail services. [45295]

Derek Twigg: Cross Country is the main operator of cross border rail services at Lockerbie railway station at present. The specification for the new Cross Country franchise is currently being developed and the needs of Lockerbie will be one of the factors to be taken into account. We expect to consult on the specification in the summer of 2006.

London Commuter Services

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which commuting service into London had the highest passengers in excess of capacity level in the last year for which figures are available. [41134]

Derek Twigg: In 2004, which is the last year for which data are available, the London commuting services with the highest passenger in excess of capacity were:
TimeFromToTrain operatorArriveTrain capacityPassengersPIXC
07:40AshfordLondon VictoriaSouth Eastern Trains09:28266466200
18:09London BridgeBeckenham JunctionSouthern18:4420528681
17:50London BridgeRochesterSouth Eastern Trains18:51420586166

Since the data were collected, both Southern and South Eastern Trains have introduced new rolling stock on these services which provides greater passenger capacity.

London Underground

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will meet the Mayor of London and raise the renegotiation of the public-private partnership deal for the London Underground; and if he will make a statement. [47208]

Ms Buck: I refer the hon. Member to my previous answer of 28 November 2005, Official Report, column 144W.
 
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Off-peak Bus Travel

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 26 January, PQ 44701, if he will break down the figure of £350 million for the provision of off-peak bus travel into main cost areas and provide the assumptions which underlay the calculation of each such area. [47127]

Ms Buck: The £350 million was based on analysis which estimated the overall costs, in 2002–03 prices, at £250 million of moving from existing provision. An additional £100 million was added to allow for the reimbursement of authorities already offering free off-peak local bus travel (e.g. London, Merseytravel and Centro (the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive), inflation, and to act as a contingency for the uncertainty of the additional take-up.

Pedestrian Rail Crossings

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what recent representations he has received on the safety of pedestrian rail crossings; [45724]

(2) if he will visit Benfleet railway station in Essex to assess the safety of the two unmanned pedestrian crossings in its vicinity; [45725]

(3) if he will undertake a review of the safety of unmanned pedestrian railway crossings; and if he will make a statement; [45726]

(4) if he will make it his policy to facilitate and speed up the closure of little-used unmanned pedestrian foot crossings of railway lines. [45727]

Derek Twigg: The Department receives correspondence on a range of issues including, safety at individual level crossings.

I meet the health and safety executive's an a regular basis to review safety issues including level crossing safety. I have at present no plans to visit Benfleet station. It is for HSE's HM Railways Inspectorate (HMRI) to assess whether Network Rail is controlling the risks at the two un-staffed pedestrian crossings at Benfleet station. I have asked the appropriate HMRI representative to contact the hon. Member to see how best to deal with your concerns.

Network Rail seeks to close crossings where viable alternatives exist which are acceptable to local residents and crossing users. Level crossing safety is governed by a legislative framework that facilitates the efficient management of level crossing risk and includes powers to ensure adequate protective measures are put in place. As part of this legislative framework, HSE's HM Railways Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State ensure on a case-by-case basis that individual level crossings are compliant with the legislation and thereby ensure that essential safety standards are being met.

Public Transport (Government Grants)

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much in Government grants was allocated for subsidies to public transport per head of population in (a) West Yorkshire, (b) South Yorkshire and (c) North Yorkshire in 2005–06. [46816]


 
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Ms Buck: The following grant per head of population was allocated in 2005–06:
£
(a) West Yorkshire17.40
(b) South Yorkshire29.68
(c) North Yorkshire18.40

These figures include integrated transport block funding and major public transport scheme funding allocated through the Local Transport capital settlement, and expected spend on Department for Transport bus grants (Rural Bus Subsidy Grant and Bus Challenge). Figures can vary year on year, particularly on the amount allocated to major transport schemes.

The figures do not include local authority spend on public transport subsidy funded from Revenue Support Grant (that spend is not allocated by Government for use particularly on transport) or payments made direct to operators of Bus Service Operators Grant (that is not allocated on a geographical basis).

The figures do not include funding allocated for rail. Central Government supports rail services in the north of England through direct franchise payments (subsidies) to the Train Operating Companies (TOCs), but these allocations are not available on a local authority area basis. Further payments are also made to PTEs for the specific provision of rail services in their respective areas, but the total subsidy figures will not be known until the end of 2005–06.


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