|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent on information technology (IT) sourced from outside his Department in each of the last five years; who is responsible for such projects in his Department; and what IT (a) expertise and (b) qualifications they possess. 
The accounting officer is the person ultimately responsible for IT projects in DfT. This will normally be agency chief executives (who are also the agency accounting officers) or the permanent secretary (the
departmental accounting officer). There are two additional accounting officers in Department for Transport (one for the Driver, Vehicle and Operator Group and one for rail).
Bearing in mind disproportionate costs, it is not feasible to identify and list all those involved in DfT with their expertise and qualifications. However, some 400 DfT staff have been trained in programme and project management as part of the Professional Skills for Government initiative. Of these, some 47 in the senior civil service and some 150 below the SCS have so far obtained related qualifications.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) originally estimated, (b) most recently estimated and (c) outturn cost was in each of the five largest information technology contracts agreed with outside suppliers over the last five years. 
Gillian Merron: The Department was formed in May 2002. A table showing the five largest information technology contracts agreed by the Department since that date has been placed in the Libraries of the House.
Gillian Merron: The Department for Transport sponsors the UK Co-ordinator of the In Town, Without My Car! Campaign who oversees the process by which local authorities in England and Wales register to participate in International Car Free Day, which is on 22 September.
Each local authority has been sent a newsletter and information about European Mobility Week, which will take place between 16 to 22 September, and they have been invited to register to participate in the event. A new Good Practice Guide has recently been published and is available free of charge to members of the public.
This year, In Town, Without My Car! Good Practice Guides and an information sheet European Mobility WeekYou Control Climate Change were distributed to local authorities in England, Northern Ireland, the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Executive.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the evidential basis was for the conclusion in the annual road maintenance condition survey that there had been a marked improvement in local authority roads; and what evidence was found in relation to roads in the (a) Essex county council and (b) Colchester borough council area. 
Gillian Merron: The local roads defects index in the national road maintenance condition survey is based on a sample survey of assessment sites throughout England and Wales. As the survey is not designed to provide statistically valid estimates below regional level, results for Essex county council and Colchester borough council are not available.
The conclusions on the visual condition of local roads in England as a whole are set out in Chapters 2 and 3 of the national road maintenance condition survey report, with further details of the statistical process provided in Annexe 3 of the report. The report for 2005 was published on 20 April 2006 and a copy placed in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what provisions have been made to improve transport links between Wellingborough and the surrounding area and London in the context of the implementation of the Milton Keynes and South Midlands spatial strategy. 
This includes growth area funding of £4.4 million to improve services and infrastructure on the X4 bus route linking Wellingborough with Northampton, Kettering, Corby, Oundle, Milton Keynes and Peterborough and £2.5 million for the Rushden Town Centre link road.
Gillian Merron: Diffusion tube data have not been used by the Department in assessing the air quality in the Heathrow area as part of the Project for the Sustainable Development of Heathrow. Diffusion tube data may be useful for trend analysis but are not deemed appropriate for the purpose of monitoring compliance. The EC Directive and UK air quality objectives require the use of automatic analysers.
Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which methods of measuring concentrations of nitrogen dioxide are considered acceptable by the European Commission in order to demonstrate compliance with the relevant air quality directives. 
Gillian Merron: The reference method for assessing the concentration of nitrogen dioxide to demonstrate compliance with EU air quality legislation is given in Directive 1999/30/EC as that defined in ISO 7996: 1985 Ambient airdetermination of the mass concentration of nitrogen oxideschemiluminescence method. A member state may however use any other method which it can demonstrate gives equivalent results. Data from the Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN) are used to fulfil the UKs obligations to monitor nitrogen dioxide concentrations in air and to report the results to the European Commission. The AURN has 94 urban and 16 rural nitrogen dioxide monitoring stations, all of which use the chemiluminescence method.
Gillian Merron: The Northern Way is a pan-regional growth strategy being taken forward by the three northern regional development agencies and their partners. Its work has potential to play an important role in delivering the Governments Regional Economic Performance PSA. The Department for Communities and Local Government co-ordinates Government involvement with the Northern Way.
The DCLG, Her Majestys Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry are currently working with the Northern Way to reinvigorate its work and focus more clearly on a smaller number of key priorities to deliver its strategy. As part of this process, the three Departments have recently been discussing with the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Education and Skills, DfES and the DfT their engagement with the Northern Way and how this might be strengthened. The DfT is represented on both the Northern Ways strategic policy group and the transport compact.
Gillian Merron: Promotion in the DfT is achieved by way of promotion board panels, often for particular posts, and through assessment centres for certain grades within and below the senior civil service.
Derek Twigg [holding answer 14 June 2006]: The Department do regulate some rail fares but many are a commercial matter for the operator concerned. We are discussing with train operators what might be done to simplify passengers choice of fares. We are also discussing with National Rail Enquiries how fares information might be better presented.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 22 May 2006, Official Report, column 1280W, on rail services, if he will place in the Library a copy of his Departments specifications for the construction of the timetable from Paddington to the West Country. 
Derek Twigg [holding answer 5 June 2006]: The timetable specification formed part of the invitation to tender (ITT) for the Greater Western franchise, issued by the Strategic Rail Authority in June 2005. The Department intends to make this public once the franchise agreement has been placed on the public register, and is working to do this as soon as possible.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 18 April 2006, Official Report, column 641W, on railways, what discussions his Department has had with Network Rail on (a) the funding of and (b) the likely timetable for the installation of enhanced CCTV at Network Rail railway stations. 
Derek Twigg: [holding answer 17 May 2006]: Network Rail and the train operators are taking forward the installation of CCTV at stations as part of an ongoing programme of work. Franchise agreements already include funding to make improvements to station facilities and this would include the installation of CCTV where appropriate. About a third of the 2,500 stations on the national network already have CCTV in place.
Derek Twigg: Network Rail is a private sector company, so decisions on bonuses paid to its directors and other employees are a matter for it. Network Rails preliminary results for the year to 31 March 2006 and accompanying press notice provide information on bonuses and are available on the companys website, www.networkrail.co.uk.
Derek Twigg: Reading borough council has submitted to the Department a local transport plan major scheme bid for Reading Station. Decisions on major scheme bids will need to take account of the advice from regions on their priorities within regional funding allocations, which we are currently considering.
Derek Twigg: The Department is a member, alongside Network Rail and the Government office for the South East, of the Reading Station Partnership Board which is led by the local authority. Departmental officials last attended the board when the finalised business case for the enhanced capacity elements of the project was presented.
Derek Twigg: The Department continues to discuss the project with relevant parties, especially with regard to the funding of the capital element of the project. In the invitation to tender for the South Western franchise, bidders have been invited to include indicative proposals for the costs of operating AirTrack services, assuming the necessary infrastructure is in place.
| Note: The figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand.|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|