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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many Pass Plus certificates have been (a) applied for and (b) issued by the Driving Standards Agency in each of the last eight weeks. 
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to reduce cancellations by train operating companies (TOCs); and if he will consider rescinding franchises from those TOCs with a poor record of punctuality. 
Franchise agreements contain minimum performance requirements, and in the case of sustained poor performance below these levels, train operating companies can incur penalties eventually leading to termination of an agreement.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will reopen the main line to Heathfield from Exeter City Basin rejoining the main line at Newton Abbott or a similar routing to provide an alternative route bypassing Dawlish Warren; and what assessment he has made of the effect of rising water levels on the incidence of line closure in winter months of the main line to Penzance. 
Network Rail advises me that it continues to take forward a phased programme of major works to improve the safety and all year round operational integrity of the railway in the Dawlish area. Network Rail will work with Devon county council to manage the sea defences in the long term as changes occur to sea levels.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what role the Government are playing in the setting of the train timetable from Paddington to the West Country being discussed with Network Rail; and what part the Government will play in future alterations to the timetable. 
Derek Twigg: The detailed construction of the timetable from Paddington to the West Country is a matter for First Great Western (FGW) working within the framework provided by the Department for Transports (DfT) specifications. In doing so, FGW is taking into account comments received from its timetable consultation exercise, and is working with Network Rail in line with the standard rail industry timetabling processes. The DfT would play the same role in relation to any future changes which might happen to the timetable.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average cost per mile was of (a) building and (b) maintaining (i) three lane motorways, (ii) dual carriageways and (iii) single lane roads in each of the last 10 years. 
Dr. Ladyman: I refer the hon. Member to my answer to the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Carmichael) of 4 May 2006, Official Report, column 1737W, which gave the average costs per mile of building motorways and dual carriageways. Additionally single lane roads cost the Highways Agency £10 million per mile, based on schemes completed in each of the last five years. Insufficient projects have been opened to traffic in each year to provide averages for the last 10 years.
I also refer the hon. Member to my answer to him on 28 February 2006, Official Report, column 675W, which set out the costs to the Highways Agency of maintaining the network. Costs broken down by road type are not available.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average difference between road building tender costs and road building outturn costs has been in each of the last 10 years. 
Dr. Ladyman: The following table records the average percentage difference, in each of the last 10 years, between works tender cost and works forecast outturn for completed publicly funded trunk road and motorway improvement projects, costing more than £5 million, for which the Highways Agency is responsible.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to announce which local authorities have been chosen to run the planned road-charging pilot schemes; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Transport Innovation Fund (TIF) has been established, in part, to support packages of measures to address congestion, including road pricing schemes. Funding is available from 2008-09. Decisions on which schemes will receive funding from TIF can be made only once robust and workable proposals, consisting of a full scheme business case, have been submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT) by local areas. Guidance on the operation of the TIF was published in January 2006 (a copy is available in the Library of the House).
The funding decisions will be conditional on any necessary powers or consents being obtained. Any non-Greater London Authority road pricing scheme in England cannot start until the local authority concerned has made a scheme order containing the details of their scheme and submitted it to the Secretary of State and it has been confirmed, as set out in Part 3 of the Transport Act 2000. The Secretary of State cannot pre-judge any applications that might be made to him in the future.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what steps he has (a) taken and (b) plans to take (i) to make ethanol cheaper than petrol and (ii) to encourage motorists to convert their car to use ethanol; and if he will make a statement; 
Dr. Ladyman: The Government already support the use of bioethanol as a transport fuel by means of a 20 pence per litre fuel duty incentive. Since this was introduced in January 2005, sales of bioethanol in the UK have increased from zero to a monthly average of some 7 million litres. We have also announced that we will introduce a Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation in 2008, which will require all transport fuel suppliers to ensure that biofuels account for a certain percentage of their total fuel sales. In 2010, the level of the obligation will reach 5 per cent., which should mean that annual sales of bioethanol reach over a billion litres a year.
European Union fuel quality standards currently allow 5 per cent. ethanol to be blended into petrol, and all petrol vehicles are already capable of running on these blends. Above that level, a number of technical modifications are required to vehicles and to refuelling points. We introduced a new grant programme in 2005 to support the installation of alternative refuelling infrastructure, and through this we are supporting the
installation of a small number of high-level ethanol pumps. In addition, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the March 2006 Budget that cars manufactured to run on high-level ethanol blends will qualify for the reduced rate of Vehicle Excise Duty for alternatively fuelled cars. Beyond that, the Government have no current plans for other incentives.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many applications for road fund licences were received (a) in total and (b) by means of the internet on each working day in the two months before and including 22 March in (i) 2006, (ii) 2005 and (iii) 2004. 
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much central Government funding has been allocated to Somerset county council for road improvement in each of the last five years. 
Gillian Merron: The Department has allocated Somerset county council £92 million of central Government funding in the last five years, through its Local Transport Plan for highways capital maintenance and transport improvement schemes (each costing less than £5 million). It is up to Somerset county council to determine exactly how it spends this money. These figures are broken down in the following table.
Somerset county council has also received £12 million of funding for the North West Taunton Package. The North West Taunton Package consists of a new road bridge crossing the railway line as well as a 600 space park and ride site. It also includes bus priority and traffic calming measures.
Somerset county council has also received Government funding support for its day-to-day roads activities through revenue support grant. Revenue support grant provides support for a range of local services and does not include a specific allocation for roads.
|Nature of capital funding||2002-03||2003-04||2004-05||2005-06||2006-07|
Gillian Merron: The Department has allocated Somerset county council £92 million of central Government funding in the last five years, through its Local Transport Plan for highways capital maintenance and transport improvement schemes (each costing less than £5 million). Details are contained in my answer to question No: 70166. It is up to Somerset county council to determine exactly how it spends this money, but this funding support can be used for capital works on signs.
Somerset county council has also received Government funding support for its day-to-day roads activities (including related to signs) through revenue support grant. Revenue support grant provides support for a range of local services and does not include a specific allocation for roads.
Ms Diana R. Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much funding Kingston upon Hull council received from his Department (a) in total, (b) per mile of road and (c) per head of population in each year since 1997-98. 
Gillian Merron: The following table shows the total funding allocated to the Kingston upon Hull city council in the local transport capital settlements between 1997-98 and 2005-06 (inclusive) in terms of totals, per mile of road, and per head of population.
|Kingston upon Hull council|
|Total funding||Funds (£000) per mile( 1)||Funds (£ per head) ( 1)|
|(1) The population and road mileage for the year 2004 has been used in the calculations, the road mileage being 458 miles and the population 248,500.|
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