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Freedom of Information

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what total sum has been received by his Department for the provision of information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in its first year of operation. [48488]

Ms Buck: Department for Transport along with other central Departments is currently participating in a monitoring exercise to record the costs of responding to all FOI requests received during the week commencing 30 January 2006.

This survey will be completed on 20 March and is intended to reveal actual costs of handling FOI cases, and particularly the activities where most cost is incurred.

Heathrow Airport

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what date the public consultation on mixed-mode at Heathrow airport will (a) start and (b) finish. [48943]

Ms Buck: We expect to consult later this year. Consultation will be in line with the Cabinet Office code of practice on public consultations which requires a minimum period of 12 weeks for responses.

Jewish Festivals

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his Department did to (a) celebrate Hanukkah and (b) mark Yom Kippur in 2005. [46766]

Ms Buck: The Department celebrated Hanukkah and marked Yom Kippur in 2005 through advertisement of the occasions in a multi-cultural calendar accessible to all staff.

There were articles about the occasions in the in-house magazines of two the Department's Executive Agencies: the Driving Standards Agency and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.

The Department aims to increase staff awareness of faith and cultural issues through a range of activities that include the publication of information and guidelines.

Staff may take at any time one and a half days of their annual entitlement to two and a half days privilege leave. The one and a half days were customarily known as Christmas and Maundy Thursday. The flexibility is designed to enable staff to take the time suitable to their faith or convictions.
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Staff must obtain their line manager's prior approval for taking their privilege leave on any particular dates but any requests will only be refused for exceptional operational reasons and will at all times be considered in the context of the right of staff to Equal Opportunity and their rights under relevant legislation.

London Mainline Terminals

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what capital sums have been spent on each mainline terminal railway station in London in each year since 1997, broken down by source of capital; and what capital sums are planned to be spent on each such station in each year between 2005–06 and 2007–08, broken down by source of capital. [47351]

Derek Twigg: This is an operational matter for Network Rail (NR). I have asked NR to write directly to the hon. Member.

M1 (Accidents)

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many accidents involving the closure of the M1 motorway in (a) either and (b) both directions between junctions 1 and 32 have occurred in (i) 2001, (ii) 2004 and (iii) 2005. [48406]

Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 6 February 2006]: The figures supplied in the following table relate solely to full carriageway closures in each direction, or full closure of the M1 motorway in both directions. There have been a number of incidents on the M1 motorway, for the periods in question, that have not involved full closure of carriageways in either direction or full closure of the M1 motorway in both directions. These figures have not been provided.

Figures for 2001 have been given where the information is readily available. Further figures for 2001 can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Number of accidents involving the closure of the M1 motorway between junctions 1 and 32

NorthSouthFull closure


Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons over six miles of the M180 motorway has the outside lane closed in both directions; why the maintenance work being carried out was not restricted to a shorter stretch to avoid congestion; and if he will make a statement. [49027]

Dr. Ladyman: A nine mile stretch of the M180 between junctions 3 and 4 has lane closures, a contraflow and a 50 mph speed limit in place in both directions to carry out essential safety improvements.
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These improvements include low noise resurfacing, installation of a new concrete central reserve barrier and to carry out drainage and maintenance work. The Highways Agency is undertaking the works as one scheme to reduce its duration on site, thereby minimising disruption and risk to the road user, as well as making it safer for roadworkers. It also provides better value for money, as it is less expensive than a number of smaller schemes.

Traffic flows have been monitored since the scheme commenced on 16 January and delays of no more than 10 minutes have been experienced at the busiest times.

National Trust (Road Scheme Objections)

Robert Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list road schemes objected to by the National Trust in cases where the Trust has invoked special parliamentary procedures; and what the outcome was in each case. [47006]

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Dr. Ladyman: Our records over the last 20 years show that the Secretary of State has not invoked the special parliamentary procedure to get a compulsory purchase order made that related to land held inalienably by the National Trust on any road scheme.

Peterborough City Council (Road Budget)

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much funding from his Department Peterborough city council unitary authority has received for its road budget in each year since 1997. [49285]

Ms Buck: The funding support provided directly to Peterborough city council unitary authority through the local transport capital settlement for each year is shown in the following table. It has been for Peterborough city council unitary authority to decide how that allocation was spent in line with their local transport plans and their priorities.

The Department does not have the data for the years 1997–98 as Peterborough was not a highway authority and allocations for the area were made to the county councils then responsible.
£ million
Peterborough city council unitary authority2005–062004–052003–042002–032001–022000–011999–20001998–99
Integrated Transport Block1.9002.1872.1962.0002.0000.9000.6400.330
Capital Highways Maintenance3.7494.2271.8341.8431.7651.0820.9610.619
Major Schemes0000.0370000

Emergency funding of £2.2 million was also made available to Peterborough city council in 2003–04 for the repair of roads damaged by drought.

In addition central funding support for services, including routine highways services, is provided by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister through revenue support grant. This is not allocated by the Government between individual council services.

Press Coverage

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions since 1 April 2003 he has complained to the Press Complaints Commission about the coverage in the press of (a) Ministers or officials and (b) his Department; and how many of these complaints were upheld. [47087]

Ms Buck: We have not made any complaints about the press coverage of Ministers, officials or the Department to the Press Complaints Commission since 1 April 2003.


Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many train operating companies applied for revenue support following the bombings in London in July 2005; what the value of those claims was; and how much money has been awarded to each as a result. [48256]

Derek Twigg: Two companies have applied for revenue support following the London bombings. Negotiations are continuing with the companies concerned but no amounts have yet been agreed or paid.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many times during the last two years passengers on the Swindon to Cheltenham line have (a) been diverted to coaches and (b) have been required to wait for the next train following a missed connection the fault for which lies with the train operator. [49494]

Derek Twigg: These are matters for the train operators concerned. Figures are not kept by the Department.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the procedures are for Network Rail to give notice of maintenance works, with particular reference to the Great Western line; and how much notice is required to be given to the train operating companies. [49495]

Derek Twigg: Under condition 9 of its network licence, Network Rail is required to plan their engineering work, provide information about this work to train operators, and to manage the resulting revisions to the national timetable at least 12 weeks in advance of operation (T-12). The procedures apply to planned engineering works across the whole of Network Rail's network, including the Great Western line. Where it is necessary to carry out emergency engineering works, the notice given may be much shorter.

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much capital expenditure in the railways has been made by (a) the public sector and (b) the private sector since 2000; and on what projects the capital expenditure has been spent. [40877]

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Derek Twigg: Investment in the rail industry (National Rail) since 2000–01 is set out in table 6.4 of National Rail Trends copies of which, are in the Libraries of the House. Total investment since 2000–01 is set out in the following table:
£ million
Total investmentOf which rolling stock

(1) Provisional

Of that investment the Government made direct grants to Railtrack plc/Network Rail and London and Continental Railways relating to investment on infrastructure undertaken by those companies as follows:
£ million

Railtrack plc/Network Rail
London and Continental Railways

The remaining investment was undertaken by the private sector. Investment in rolling stock is noted in the table above. A detailed breakdown of the remaining private investment is not available as it is collected by the Office for National Statistics on a confidential basis. That said the unprecedented levels of public and private investment is delivering significant improvements in the railway including:

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many railway stations (a) have obtained secure station status, (b) had secure status withdrawn and (c) not sought secure station reaccreditation in the latest period for which figures are available. [49194]

Ms Buck: Since the launch of the secure stations scheme in 1998 a total of 323 rail stations, including 49 London Underground stations, have been accredited under the scheme. Of these a total of 83 rail stations, including 48 London Underground stations, have not, so far, sought re-accreditation. No stations have had their secure status withdrawn since the scheme's launch.

A list of accredited stations has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures his Department has taken to reduce the risk of road vehicles obstructing railway tracks. [47447]

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Derek Twigg: The Department participates in the National Level Crossing Safety Group, which supports research by the Rail Safety and Standards Board and Network Rail into ways of reducing incidents at level crossings.

The Health and Safety Executive's HM Rail Inspectorate ensure on a case-by-case basis that individual level crossings are compliant with health and safety legislation, that essential safety standards are being met and risks are controlled. Specific control measures to reduce the risk of road vehicles obstructing railway tracks include; the provision of road markings, traffic lights and signage, level crossing notices and specific guidance within the highway code.

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the size of the Network Rail discretionary fund for (a) 2006–07 and (b) 2007–08. [45536]

Derek Twigg: The Network Rail discretionary fund (NRDF) is an arrangement whereby Network Rail will spend a total of £200 million up to the end of the current regulatory control period in March 2009 on smaller enhancements and improvements to the rail network. The amount spent is nominally £50 million in each financial year.

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