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16 Feb 2006 : Column 2411W—continued

Official Cars

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many former Ministers, apart from Prime Ministers, have official cars provided for their use; from which administrations; and if he will make a statement. [50795]

Ms Buck [holding answer 13 February 2006]: In addition to both former Prime Ministers the GCS provides cars and drivers to three former Ministers, two from Labour administrations and one from a Conservative administration.
 
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Park and Ride Schemes

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the viability of a park and ride scheme in (a) Tameside metropolitan borough and (b) Stockport metropolitan borough. [51745]

Ms Buck: It is for individual local authorities to determine the public transport needs in their region and to match available funding against these requirements.

At this time there are no planned park and ride sites in either Tameside or Stockport.

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) financial and (b) other support his Department is giving to develop park and ride schemes in the Greater Peterborough area. [50725]

Ms Buck: The funding support for integrated transport provision provided to Peterborough city council through the local transport capital settlement for each year is shown in the following table. It has been for Peterborough city council to decide how that allocation was spent in line with its local transport plans and its priorities, including provision of park and ride.
Peterborough city council unitary authority(integrated transport block)

£ million
2006–071.867
2005–061.900
2004–052.187
2003–042.196
2002–032.000
2001–022.000

Peterborough Local Transport Plan

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funding the Government will provide to support the delivery of the Peterborough local transport plan for 2006–07 to 2010–11; and if he will make a statement. [52506]

Ms Buck: The Government have made firm allocations for some of the funding support for the Peterborough local transport plan for 2006–07 and set guidelines for 2007–08 to 2010–11. It has allocated a total of £4.076 million for local transport capital works in 2006–07 and set out planning guidelines totalling £10.614 million for 2007–08 to 2010–11. No final allocations of funding support for any major transport schemes in Peterborough for 2006–07 to 2010–11 have yet been made.
 
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The figures do not include any allowance for the continuation of an exceptionally large capital maintenance scheme, the case for which is currently being considered.

Public Transport (Late Night Provision)

Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to ensure local authorities provide late night public transport for young people. [51287]

Ms Buck: Local public transport services are mainly provided by buses. Individual local authorities are responsible for their own decisions on spending on support for local bus services in their area, including those providing late night services. The majority of this expenditure is provided by local authorities from their Revenue Support Grant allocations. Over £300 million was spent by local authorities in support of bus services in 2004–05.

We recognise the importance to children and young people of a transport system that meets their needs. We commissioned a project to improve our understanding of this issue and to help local authorities when making their spending decisions. A summary of this research will be published shortly on the Department's website.

Railways

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the impact on (a) rail fare prices and (b) rail usage of the abolition of saver fares; and if he will make a statement. [49025]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 8 February 2006]: The Strategic Rail Authority's fares review, published in June 2003, concluded that the regulation of saver returns (a leisure fare introduced by British Rail in the 1980s) had caused overcrowding on many long-distance trains and had constrained the introduction of more innovative, customer-focused fares structures. It proposed further work on saver regulation with a view to replacing it in due course with a more appropriate regime. Work is ongoing, but no decision on the future of saver regulation has yet been made.

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what priority he plans to give to seating capacity on trains when awarding rail franchises. [51790]

Derek Twigg: The invitation to tender for each franchise includes a specification setting out the rail services the Government propose to buy through the franchise. This includes service frequency, stopping patterns, journey times and seating capacity. This is particularly important for franchises which have a high proportion of commuter traffic flows. Bidders' proposals have to show how they will meet this specification and delivery of seating capacity is monitored throughout the life of the franchise.

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of railway fare income has been derived from (a) regulated and (b) unregulated fares for each year since 1994. [49565]


 
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Derek Twigg [holding answer 8 February 2006]: The proportion of fares income from regulated and unregulated fares from 2002 is shown in the following table. Data covering 1994–2001 is not available and can only be provided at a disproportionate cost.
Fare type (percentage)

RegulatedUnregulated
20024456
20034456
20044456
20054456

The proportion of rail fare income from different ticket types has been included in National Rail Trends" (published by Office of Rail Regulation) since January 2002, as part of the rail fares index.

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what plans he has to introduce double-deck rolling stock on the rail network; and if he will make a statement; [50510]

(2) what assessment he has made of the suitability of the present railway infrastructure to accommodate double-deck rolling stock; which routes would require the least adaption work to accommodate such rolling stock; and if he will make a statement. [50511]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 14 February 2006]: The Department for Transport is considering the options for increasing the capacity of the railway network to meet future needs. Double deck trains are being considered as one of the possible long term solutions.

Work undertaken by the Department for Transport to assess the suitability of UK main lines for double deck trains confirms that a significant number of major structural changes would be needed to accommodate them.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether domestic use of Waterloo International terminal is included in the invitation to tender for the South West Trains franchise. [51853]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 14 February 2006]: The specification for the new South Western franchise has not yet been finalised, but my right hon. Friend confirmed on 11 October 2005 that the Waterloo International platforms would be used for domestic services when Eurostar services have moved to St. Pancras.

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many incidents of crime and disorder were reported at each railway station in England between 1997 and 2005; and how much was spent on anti-crime measures for each station over the same period. [47999]

Derek Twigg [holding answer 2 February 2006]: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Thameslink 2000

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the timetable is for the Thameslink 2000
 
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programme; whether there are plans to divide the project into phases; what the timetable is for the provision of a new station at Kings Cross/St Pancras under the programme; what decisions have been made about funding; and if he will make a statement. [46907]

Derek Twigg: The public inquiry into the Thameslink 2000 project was re-opened between 6 September and 7 December 2005, following the submission of fresh applications by Network Rail to address deficiencies in the scheme identified by the original inquiry.

The Inspector is currently preparing his report on the re-opened inquiry for submission to the Secretary of State for Transport and the Deputy Prime Minister, who are jointly and severally responsible for determining the various consent applications required to implement the project. We expect to receive the Inspector's report in March. We also expect to receive in the spring a report from London TravelWatch on the railway closures required to implement the project. I cannot at this stage comment on the merits of the scheme, in order not to prejudice the eventual decisions.

The construction of the Midland Road station at Kings Cross/St Pancras was approved under the CTRL Act. The Secretary of State announced in a written statement on 8 February 2006, Official Report, column 50WS the decision to fit out this station, which should be ready to take its first passengers at the end of 2007.


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