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Dr. Ladyman: The funding provided directly to Lancashire county council since 1997 is provided in the following table. The integrated transport block funding can be used for local highways or public transport capital projects. It is for Lancashire to determine how that allocation has been spent, in line with its local transport plan and its priorities. Lancashire did not receive any expenditure for major road schemes, costing over £5 million, in this timeframe.
|Integrated Transport Block||2.203||3.833||4.200||11.200||11.922||12.051||13.033||11.000|
|Capital Highways Maintenance||1.465||3.048||6.096||16.630||17.782||13.337||16.176||14.865|
Dr. Ladyman: We are making good progress on delivering our programme of major improvements to the strategic road network. Since 2001, we have completed 36 major trunk road and motorway schemes, including the M6 Toll. 15 schemes are currently under construction and the Highways Agency's Business Plan identifies a further 27 schemes which are planned to start construction by April 2008. In the three years to 200708, we plan to spend £1.9 billion on major improvement schemes on the trunk road and motorway network.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many unscheduled (a) road and (b) lane closures due to road accidents there have been on the motorways and trunk road network in the last 12 months; what the average duration of such closure was in each local authority area; and what assessment he has made of the average cost to the economy of such closures. 
Dr. Ladyman: In the 12 month period March 2005 to February 2006, the Highways Agency's National Traffic Control Centre (NTCC) recorded 8,590 accidents resulting in partial or total road closure of greater than 15 minutes' duration, on the English Strategic Road Network. Records are not kept centrally on other more minor incidents. The following table shows the monthly breakdown of the NTCC figures. Assessment of the cost to the economy of unplanned closures is not routinely undertaken.
|Month||Lane closure||Total road closure||Total|
The average duration of these events, from their identification through to conditions returning to normal, was 2.5 hours. A table showing NTCC records by local authority has been placed in the Libraries of the House.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the cost of
21 Mar 2006 : Column 249W
requiring the Motoring Insurance Bureau to act as the insurer of last resort in respect of personal injury claims resulting from collisions between motor vehicles and wild animals. 
Derek Twigg: The South Western Franchise Consultation document was published in November 2005. The conclusions drawn from the stakeholder consultation and the specification against which bids are to be prepared is planned to be issued in early April.
The invitation to tender documentation is scheduled to be issued at the end of March and will be restricted to the participating bidders during the competitive tendering process. It will then be available after the successful franchisee is announced which is anticipated to be in the autumn.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which routes and stations in the South West franchise area will be closed as a consequence of the Government's specification document, for the bidding process for the train operating companies. 
Derek Twigg: The Department for Transport will not be in a position to consider funding of this project in advance of any decision on Network Rail's application for a Transport and Works Act Order and other related planning applications.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect of litter, rubbish and debris on railway lines on the effective operation of train companies' timetables. 
Derek Twigg: This is the responsibility of Network Rail and the train operating companies, who have a number of measures in place to minimise the effects of litter, rubbish and debris on the running of trains.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the pre-qualification document for the (a) Virgin Cross-Country, (b) East Midlands and (c) West Midlands franchise will be released. 
It is anticipated that the advertisement inviting prospective bidders to submit applications to pre-qualify for the Cross Country, West Midlands and East Midlands franchises will be issued in June 2006.
21 Mar 2006 : Column 250W
Dr. Ladyman: The Government recently consulted on how planning gain supplement (PGS) might fund additional investment in the local and strategic infrastructure to support housing growth, and is currently considering responses to that consultation.
Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his written statement of 15 December 2005, Official Report, column 173WS, on the Wilson Doctrine, when he expects to make a further statement. 
The Prime Minister: I have nothing further to add to my written ministerial statement, 15 December 2005, Official Report, column 173WS and my answers at Prime Minister's Questions on 18 and 25 January.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research her Department (a) has undertaken and (b) plans to undertake into the reasons for trends in the abortion rate in England and Wales between 2003 and 2004; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: While the 2004 abortion statistics showed a slight increase in the abortion rate per 1,000 resident women aged 1544, the under 18 and under 16 abortion rates decreased. In addition, more abortions were performed at an earlier gestation. The 2004 statistics are available on the Department's website at: www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/11/75/74/04117574.pdf.
It is a key aim of the Government to reduce unintended pregnancy rates, as featured in both the sexual health and teenage pregnancy strategies, and provision of good quality contraceptive services are essential to achieve this. We are investing £40 million over the next two years to improve access to contraceptive services. We have asked primary care trusts (PCTs) to complete a national questionnaire of contraceptive services. The results will inform the publication of best practice guidance by the Department and will help PCTs determine how best to meet gaps in local services. In addition, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has published guidance on long-acting methods of contraception which should raise awareness and usage of all the methods.
The annual 2005 abortion statistics will be published by the Department in July 2006. Provisional abortion data for January to September
21 Mar 2006 : Column 251W
2005 is available in the Office for National Statistics' publication Health Statistics Quarterly 29 at: www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_health/HSQ29.pdf.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which 10 primary care organisations had the (a) highest and (b) lowest abortion rates in England and Wales per 1000 women aged 15 to 44 in 2004. 
Caroline Flint: The information requested is contained within the 2004 abortion statistics for England and Wales which can be found in the Department's Statistical Bulletin 2005/11 and this is available on the Department's website at: www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/11/75/74/04117574.pdf
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