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11 May 2006 : Column 422W—continued


11 May 2006 : Column 423W

11 May 2006 : Column 424W
Total spending on bus services including concessionary fare funding
Pence per passenger journey
Area 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05

Greater Manchester

27

27

27

30

31

29

30

38

35

Merseyside

33

38

40

29

32

33

34

37

40

South Yorkshire

18

18

13

13

13

15

15

17

20

Tyne and Wear

18

17

18

20

21

21

23

20

21

West Midlands

22

21

23

25

25

26

24

23

23

West Yorkshire

19

20

22

20

23

25

23

25

23

London

10

9

10

10

15

22

36

41

39

Rest of England

15

15

17

18

20

22

24

27

30


Total spending on bus services excluding concessionary fare funding
Pence per passenger journey
Area 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05

Greater Manchester

10

9

9

10

12

10

10

17

14

Merseyside

13

17

17

8

8

9

10

12

14

South Yorkshire

8

9

5

6

6

7

8

9

11

Tyne and Wear

5

6

6

7

7

8

9

7

5

West Midlands

7

5

8

8

7

9

7

5

4

West Yorkshire

10

10

11

12

13

14

14

15

12

London

1

0

1

1

6

13

28

33

31

Rest of England

7

7

9

10

11

12

14

16

18


In addition, operators of local bus services receive Bus Service Operators Grant from this Department. This is paid direct to operators and is not attributed to a specific area.

Departmental Policies

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will set out with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to West Lancashire constituency the effects in West Lancashire of changes to his Department's policies since 1997. [64239]

Derek Twigg: Capital funding for local transport in the West Lancashire constituency is allocated to the Lancashire county council. The funding provided to Lancashire county council since 1997 is shown in the following table. It is for Lancashire county council to determine how that allocation is spent, in line with the priorities detailed in their local transport plan.

Lancashire county council level of funding
£000
Maintenance Integrated block Major funding Targeted bus grants( 1) Total funding

1997-98

11,006

1998-99

751

7,906

1999-2000

751

10,432

2000-01

6,096

4,800

600

751

12,283

2001-02

16,630

11,200

960

28,790

2002-03

17,782

11,922

1,026

1,098

31,828

2003-04

13,337

12,051

1,121

26,509

2004-05

16,176

13,033

1,238

30,447

2005-06

14,865

11,000

1,287

27,152

(1)Includes Rural Bus Subsidy Grant and Rural Bus challenge funding

The Government are also investing £87 billion per week nationally to improve the railways, which will benefit those in West Lancashire. TransPennine Express, who operate services in West Lancashire, have invested £250 million in a fleet of 51 new trains. Passengers are already travelling on these trains and the full fleet is expected to be operating by the end of January 2007.

More locally, the West of Lancashire community rail partnership, which was established in 2000, has already been involved with the recent refurbishment of Parbold railway station, the development of a new interchange at Burscough Bridge and the introduction of a new Sunday service at Gathurst station and later evening service from Manchester to Southport.

The public performance measure for Northern Rail (2004-05), which covers punctuality and reliability, shows that 85 per cent. of trains arrived within five minutes of their designated time, against a national average of 84 per cent. These figures show an improvement in Northern Rail's performance since 2003-04.

Departmental Staff

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many departmental staff work on (a) rail, (b) road, (c) aviation, (d) river, (e) walking, (f) cycling and (g) light rail related matters. [56607]

Derek Twigg: Actual and planned numbers of staff working in the central Department and its Agencies are set out in the Department's Annual Report 2005(c. 6527). It is not possible to disaggregate staff numbers in the central Department by mode other than
11 May 2006 : Column 425W
at disproportionate cost, since significant numbers work cross-modally or in units which are themselves cross-modal.

Driving Licences

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his policy is on the revised European directive on driving licences; and if he will make a statement. [69641]

Dr. Ladyman: Driver licensing arrangements in the UK and in all other member states are currently governed by the second EU driver licensing directive (Directive 91/439/EEC). New proposals have been under negotiation since December 2003.

On 27 March, the Council of Transport Ministers announced that it had reached political agreement on a text for a proposed third Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on driving licences. That text has now to be considered by the European Parliament before it can be adopted.

The Government abstained from the vote in Council on 27 March, because we are disappointed that it has been impossible to secure amendments to achieve better and more flexible arrangements for staged access by young motorcycle riders to the larger machines.

We believe that our present practice on licensing motorcycle riders, which insists on compulsory basic training and testing for all, is effective. We shall seek to work with motorcycle and road safety interests to devise as good as possible a way of retaining its benefits within the new EU framework.

Although the Government abstained because of its disappointment over staged access to motorcycles for young riders, it did not oppose, because it welcomes most of the remainder of the agreed text.


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