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8 Feb 2006 : Column 1200W—continued

Regulatory Reform Orders

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many regulatory reform orders his Department has laid before Parliament in each of the last five calendar years. [46801]

Ms Buck: Since it was established in May 2002 the Department has laid one Regulatory Reform Order before Parliament. The Regulatory Reform (Public Services Vehicles) Order 2005 was laid for first stage scrutiny in November 2005.

Road Building Projects (South-east)

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received regarding the South East England Regional Assembly Regional Transport Board's advice on priorities for road building projects in the South East. [49464]

Dr. Ladyman: On 31 January the Government received the South East region's advice on funding priorities. Prior to receiving the advice, we received various representations relevant to the region's prioritisation exercise.

Road Pricing

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research he has conducted into the merits of the introduction of a road pricing system through (a) national, (b) regional and (c) local schemes; and if he will make a statement. [49564]

Dr. Ladyman: Research undertaken for the Feasibility Study of Road Pricing in the UK, published by the Department for Transport in July 2004, showed that a national road pricing scheme could potentially reduce congestion by some 40 per cent. with benefits of up to £12 billion a year in time savings and increased reliability. But moving to a national system of road pricing would be a huge and complex task. That is why
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the study recommended that local or regional schemes should be used to pilot approaches to road pricing. A copy of the study report has been placed in the Library.

The Government are working with local authorities to develop a major pilot in the next four to five years. Because the development of these schemes will be a complex undertaking the Government has made £18 million of pump priming funding available between 2005–06 and 2007–08 to help support the work of local authorities in developing local demand management schemes. The first allocation to seven areas was announced on 28 November 2005, Official Report, columns 3–4WS.

Road Projects

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list road improvement projects which are behind schedule; and what the reasons are in each case. [49024]

Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency has 17 major projects either currently on site, or which have received approval to proceed to construction. 15 of these are on schedule, in line with the timetable planned at approval to proceed to construction stage, and two are behind schedule.

The schemes behind schedule are the A14 Rookery Crossroads Grade Separated Junction and the M1 J6A-10 Widening. In the case of A14 Rookery Crossroads, the original completion date of mid December has slipped due to the complexity of the traffic management arrangements during the scheme construction. With the Ml J6A-10 Widening a review of the costs and agreement of a target cost with the appointed contractor has taken longer than anticipated, delaying the full start of works. Advance works have, however, commenced on schedule.

For local highway schemes, delivery timescales and the reasons for any slippage are a matter for the promoting local authority.

St. Pancras Thameslink

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the meeting of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State with the hon. Members for North Bedfordshire, North-East and St Albans (Anne Main) on 15 September 2005, whether he is in a position to state when the St Pancras Thameslink box will be fully fitted out. [47630]

Derek Twigg: Department for Transport is continuing to work with stakeholders to determine if there is a robust route to deliver the fit out in advance of the Thameslink 2000 Project at a price that offers acceptable value for money. I would expect to make a more detailed statement in due course

Transport Demand Research

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research he has (a) conducted and (b) evaluated on the relationship between economic growth and (i) rail passenger demand, (ii) demand for air travel and (iii) road investment programmes; and if he will make a statement. [49567]

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Ms Buck: The Department has not conducted or evaluated specific research into the relationship between economic growth and rail passenger demand as estimates are made by the rail industry. These estimates are, however, used in the Department's National Transport Model, information on which can be found on the DfT website at:

In May 2000, the Department published Air Traffic Forecasts for the United Kingdom 2000". This internal piece of work provided forecasts over the period to 2020 and used econometric methods to assess the contribution of factors, including economic growth, to determine air traffic growth. This can be found at:–01.hcsp#P38_1015

In 1996 the Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Appraisal (SACTRA) was asked by the then Secretary of State for Transport to consider the effects on the performance of the economy which might be caused by transport projects and policies, including new infrastructure, changing prices, demand management and measures to reduce traffic. This report can be found at:

Transport Expenditure

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department has spent on (a) road works and (b) (i) road resurfacing and (ii) resurfacing noisy concrete road surfaces in each region since May 2002; and what projections his Department has for spending on each category of expenditure in each region over the next three years. [43026]

Dr. Ladyman: The Highways Agency is responsible for highway maintenance on the strategic road network in England.

The Highways Agency's expenditure on road maintenance since 2002–03 is set out in the following table. They do not routinely record this information by region. The expenditure on renewal of roads is also shown in the table. Road resurfacing work is contained within the budget for renewal of roads which also funds other expenditure such as street lighting, drainage and safety fencing.
£ million
Funding category2002–032003–042004–052005–06
of which:
Renewal of roads280254285341
Resurfacing of concrete roads507834(2)29

(2) year to date
Forecasts for future years are not available

A separate regional analysis of historic expenditure on resurfacing concrete roads with quieter surfacing has been carried out, and is set out in the following table. The amounts vary between region and from year-to-year, depending on the specific projects which have been identified for resurfacing due to a safety or maintenance need.
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RegionExpenditure (£ million)
South East26
South West2
South East8
East Midlands4
West Midlands7
South West9
South East4
East Midlands8
South West5
East Midlands4
South East17
South West1

(3) year to date

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Highway maintenance on local roads in England is the responsibility of each local highways authority. My Department provides funding to local authorities in England and outside London for capital highway maintenance through the local transport settlement. The funding made since 2002 is shown as follows.
£ million
Capital maintenance2002–032003–042004–052005–062006–07
North East36.12035.87847.09544.17044.165
Yorkshire and Humberside68.03867.84885.42576.58884.625
West Midlands65.55266.54575.35782.10582.908
East Midlands61.42762.46368.91865.17868.380
South West82.34383.19496.103107.685116.804
South East79.98691.599100.533105.008102.315
North West92.08588.87293.05988.14484.819

Indicative allocations for capital maintenance by local authority and region for the period 2006–07 to 2010–11 were published in December 2004. These can be found on the Department's website in the document entitled Provisional Planning Guidelines for Local Transport Capital: 2006–07 to 2010–11".

Funding for local authority capital highway maintenance is not ring fenced. It is for the local authorities to decide how such funding is spent in line with their priorities, across the whole range of services that they provide.

In addition, revenue provision is made to local authorities in England but outside London, by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for highway maintenance through the local authorities' Formula for Standard Spending (FSS). ODPM publish information on local authority outturn expenditure annually, including data on highway maintenance. Information for 2002–03 and 2003–04 can be found on the ODPM website Information on later years has not yet been published.

Highway maintenance funding in London is the responsibility of the London Mayor.

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